Kodey councillors sworn in seven months after election

Three councillors-elect for the island council of Gaaf Alif Kodey took their oaths of office on Thursday (August 21) seven months after the local council elections in January, reports local media.

Independent members Murthala Saleem and Ahmed Ibrahim along with Adhaalath Party member Siyam Mohamed were sworn in by Gaaf Alif Villigili Magistrate Azeem Hassan at a ceremony at the Kodey school.

A fourth councillor-elect, Shan Mohamed, meanwhile informed the Local Government Authority (LGA) that he no longer wished to serve on the council.

Shan told Sun Online that he has moved to Malé since January’s polls and begun practicing law in the capital.

Elections Commission (EC) Director Ahmed Abubakur, however, insisted that Shan must first take the oath of office and then resign if he did not want the seat.

He added that the EC would make a decision once the LGA informs the commission of Shan’s letter.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court overturned the High Court’s annulment of the Kodey island council election.

In February, the High Court ordered a revote for the five-member island council. The decision was, however, appealed at the Supreme Court by the EC.

In its verdict (Dhivehi) – delivered more than four months after the appeal was filed – the apex court ordered a revote to be held among the two fifth-placed candidates and the sixth-placed candidate.

The fifth-placed candidates received 88 votes while the candidate in sixth place received 87 votes.

As the margin between the candidates for the last seat was just one vote, the High Court had invalidated the election after it emerged that an elderly Kodey man residing in Dhaandhoo had cast his ballot in the wrong box.