Despite the heat generated by various political parties in the campaign, there have been no major incidents of violence and it looks that the elections will be gone through smoothly on September 7, writes Dr S Chandrasekharan for the Eurasia Review.
The Election Commission has wisely decided to start polling earlier by 7.30am itself and conclude by 4:00pm. The idea is to minimise possible disturbances that often occur after sunset and this I believe has been done on the advice of police.
The police have generally been alert and the Police Commissioner has given detailed instructions on ‘do’s and don’ts’ on the election day. These efforts are laudable. The only jarring note that I noticed was the statement issued by the Police Commissioner Abdulla Riyaz that the police will continue to refuse any orders they decides are “unconstitutional”.
Who is the Police Commissioner to decide whether the order is unconstitutional or not? This statement has intrigued the political parties, particularly the MDP which has declared that its main task is to reform the police, military and the judiciary.
Riyaz is a post coup appointee and is also a person who was actively involved in the overthrow of President Nasheed. So is the Defence Minister and my concern is- Will they accept the election results in the event the present regime does not come to power? Will they create a constitutional crisis?”