The Maysorian Nation 6

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Protests after alleged fraud in presidential elections.

(Bizet). With the counting of the votes still going on, it´s clear that the candidates of the PNR, Mr. Oliver Keridavian and the SPM, Mr. John Golenge, will continue to the next round of the presidential elections, which will be held on June 16, this due to the fact that none of the candidates got more than 50 % of the votes. But already on the same day the election was held, lots of complaints were heard about what many observers saw as a failing voting process. The fact that Oliver Keridavian, the former prime minister and by many seen as the "crown prince" of resigning president and ex-dictator Muhammad Nuruddin, and the candidate of whom was said that most people didn´t trust him, still got most votes instead of favorite Rakesh Sengupta or even Iqbal Ahmed, lead to furious reactions within the opposition. Accusations were made by both representatives of the Republican Party and the Jamaat-e-Islami that the PNR (as usual) had rigged the elections in order to stay in power. Supporters of these parties have in the meantime taken to the streets to protest against the result of the elections. Mr. Rakesh Sengupta, candidate of the Republican Party, said to the press that he believed that the bad result could just as well be a result of cheating, pointing on the fact that observers on many places throughout the republic had noted that there seemed to have been more votes than voters. "Why cannot president Nuruddin accept that the candidate of the PNR is just not the one the people of our republic want to see as our new president," he said and asked his supporters to lay their votes on John Golenge in the next round. Even Mr. Ahmed said to be disappointed by the results of the first round and advised his supporters to vote on the candidate they thought was most suitable. On the other hand was the amazing result of Mr. John Golenge, candidate for the SPM, also quite unexpected. In the polls before the election his chances were estimated to be quite small, as Mr. Golenge is a Christian and most of his support is to be found among the Christian part of the population, but now it seems that also many from the Hindu and even Muslim communities have supported him. Mr. Golenge himself said to be quite satisfied with the results, although he stated that if he would be chosen as the next president, it should be the result of a fair voting process and that all allegations of fraud should be investigated. President Nuruddin has until now not commented the allegations of fraud, but according to the government, the results of the elections were as fair as could be and this was even confirmed by the African Union.

Below: the results of the first round

Oliver Keridavian (PNR) 36 %

John Golenge (SPM) 31 %

Iqbal Ahmed (JIMAS) 18 %

Rakesh Sengupta (RP) 15 %