Maldives must hold a fresh round of presidential polls before October 20,the Supreme Court has ruled while annulling the first round that was held on September 7.
The verdict is a major blow to former Maldivian President Mohammed Nasheed who emerged as the winner in the first round.
The first round of fresh presidential poll must be held before the 20th of this month and the second round,if necessary,should be before the November 3,2013,the apex court directed.
The ruling came after a case was filed by the Jumhooree Party (JP) leader Qasim Ibrahim,alleging serious irregularities.
Giving details of the verdict,Maldivian High Commissioner to India Mohamed Naseer said the verdict was issued by a majority of the seven-judge bench.
The Supreme Courts judgment was based on the fact that 5,623 votes were cast fraudulently. These include votes cast using false ID cards,in the name of the deceased,by minors,votes cast without a valid ID card,issues of double voting as well as votes cast by those not registered under the Department of National Registration(DNR).
It was held that these 5,623 votes are sufficient to significantly alter the positions of the candidates that came 2nd and 3rd in the Election which was 2,677 votes, he said.