How not to elect a president, continued

The Maldivian clinic in how not to elect a president continues. This time, the country managed to complete (apparently) its first round, on Saturday. With no candidate obtaining a majority, the runoff was scheduled for the next day. The Supreme Court rejected holding the runoff Sunday after a petition from two of the trailing candidates.

Has any country or other jurisdiction ever attempted to hold a runoff the day after the first round? I doubt it!

The reason for the (attempted) haste is that the already-delayed first round was only days before the incumbent’s term expires. At this point, no one knows who the country’s chief executive will be on Monday.

Yes, folks, this is the stuff of constitutional crises.

Oh, by the way, the leading candidate in the first round was again Mohammed Rasheed, with 46.9%, a little bit better than he got in the annulled 7 September vote. The next two candidates had 29.7% and 23.3%. With the first candidate yet again just percentage points from the victory threshold and a first-second gap of over 15 percentage points, it is quite evident who will win–if voters ever get a chance to have their final say.

3 thoughts on “How not to elect a president, continued

  1. “it is quite evident who will win–if voters ever get a chance to have their final say.”

    It seems the other has won, so you’re suggesting … (and I’m thinking it too)

  2. If the election was fair, its outcome is indeed a big surprise. I say that not based on any real knowledge of Maldives politics (because I have said everything I know about it in these posits), but because it is so rare for that kind of first-round lead to be overturned in a runoff.

    In overturning a lead for a candidate who was 3.1 percentage points away from a first-round victory and 17.2 ahead of the eventual winner, this is right up there with Portugal 1986 (46.3 to 25.4 in first round, a shortfall from majority of 3.6 and a 20.9-point gap between the two).

    There is also Guinea, 2010: The first-round leader was farther from winning outright (6.3) but was 25.45 ahead of the candidate who came from behind to win the runoff.

    These are the biggest come-from-behind wins I know of. And other than Portugal, 1986, I can’t really assess how fair the reported runoff results were in these cases.

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