World

Maldives president says he will stay on beyond his term after presidential runoff delayed

  • An election official empties out a ballot box to count votes after polling for presidential elections closed in Male, Maldives, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013.  After two months of political bickering and repeated failure to hold a presidential election, people in the Maldives voted Saturday to elect a new leader for their budding but vulnerable democracy. (AP Photo/Sinan Hussain)

    An election official empties out a ballot box to count votes after polling for presidential elections closed in Male, Maldives, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. After two months of political bickering and repeated failure to hold a presidential election, people in the Maldives voted Saturday to elect a new leader for their budding but vulnerable democracy. (AP Photo/Sinan Hussain)  (The Associated Press)

  • Elections officials count votes after polling for presidential election closed in Male, Maldives, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013.  After two months of political bickering and repeated failure to hold a presidential election, people in the Maldives voted Saturday to elect a new leader for their budding but vulnerable democracy. (AP Photo/Sinan Hussain)

    Elections officials count votes after polling for presidential election closed in Male, Maldives, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. After two months of political bickering and repeated failure to hold a presidential election, people in the Maldives voted Saturday to elect a new leader for their budding but vulnerable democracy. (AP Photo/Sinan Hussain)  (The Associated Press)

  • An election official breaks the seal of a ballot box to count votes after polling for presidential elections closed in Male, Maldives, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013.  After two months of political bickering and repeated failure to hold a presidential election, people in the Maldives voted Saturday to elect a new leader for their budding but vulnerable democracy. (AP Photo/Sinan Hussain)

    An election official breaks the seal of a ballot box to count votes after polling for presidential elections closed in Male, Maldives, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. After two months of political bickering and repeated failure to hold a presidential election, people in the Maldives voted Saturday to elect a new leader for their budding but vulnerable democracy. (AP Photo/Sinan Hussain)  (The Associated Press)

The president of the Maldives says he will stay in office even though his term ends at midnight Sunday in order to avert a constitutional void that could have arisen due to the postponement of a presidential runoff election.

President Mohamed Waheed Hassan said in a televised address to the Indian Ocean archipelago nation Sunday night that his intention was to oversee the runoff now scheduled for Nov. 16.

The first democratically elected president of the country and the brother of a former autocratic ruler have qualified for the runoff based on the results of Saturday's election. However, the Supreme Court postponed the runoff scheduled for Sunday, the latest in a series of problems in holding the election.

Hassan's decision has the potential to exacerbate an already volatile political situation.