The Maldives Police Service has requested that the Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) substantiate its claims that police exceeded their mandate during the delaying of the presidential election on October 19.
The scheduled poll failed to go ahead after police informed the Elections Commission that it would not support the election. The commission reported that police officers had informed them no document related to the election could leave their offices.
Maldives ‘police life’ website reported that the statement claims “actions of the Police on the 19th of October were based on the Constitution of the Republic of Maldives and the Supreme Court verdict, SC-C/42/2013, along with ensuring the rights of every individual who can vote”.
“The document goes on to state that the Maldives Police Service had prepared in advance for the election on the 19th with Officers being sent to the atolls on the 18th, being sent abroad as per the instructions of the Elections Commission and with separate Officers being sent with the voting list and vote slips being transported by air,” read the police website.
On the day scheduled for the vote. the HRCM released a statement arguing that the police service had “acted outside of their mandate in obstructing elections.”
“Point one of the Supreme Court’s 16 point guideline orders all institutions to provide cooperation to hold an election before October 20th. And yet, today Police had obstructed EC and brought the election to a halt. Even if there are concerns, the Elections Commission is the authority mandated by the Constitution of Maldives to stop an election if there is a need for it,” the HRCM continued.