“Elections Commission unprepared” says former President Gayoom

Maldives former 30 year autocratic leader, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom has said that the Elections Commission (EC) has not prepared itself to the necessary standards to hold the presidential election scheduled for September 7.

Previously, Gayoom’s party Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) has raised several concerns over the EC that include the involvement of Indian IT specialists handling its database, the wife of the Elections Commissioner Fuwad Thowfeek being an outspoken Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) supporter, and “politicised tweets” by the commission’s Legal Director Haneefa Khalid.

In an interview given to Minivan News this week, Thowfeek revealed that the PPM had requested access to the commission’s IT section.

The PPM denied the accusation but did reiterate their concern over expat IT experts working in the commission.

“We are still quite uncertain and unsure why these people are here at this time,” said PPM MP Ahmed Nihan.

Thowfeek meanwhile told the local media this week that the commission’s internet server was continuously being attacked by hackers from both within the country and outside.

“Our server is continuously being attacked… For that reason, our IT team is continuously monitoring the server and blocking these attacks round the clock.  I assure that our data is still safe and protected. There are no imminent threats of a security breach,” Fuwad told Haveeru.

Gayoom – who was on his way to Gaaf Dhaal Atoll to campaign for PPM’s Presidential Candidate Abdulla Yameen – told the media shortly before departing on Wednesday that it was critical that the EC address the issues raised by political parties.

The former president elaborated that the stability of the country relied heavily upon the freedom and fairness of the upcoming presidential elections, and that therefore it was imperative for the EC to carry out its duties in an open and transparent manner.

“We are seeing problems within the framework they have established. Other parties have even noted that. We are not, by any means, saying that they are doing things wrong. But instead, we are saying that we don’t see the Elections Commission making necessary arrangements for the presidential elections in an adequate and proper way,” Gayoom said.

Gayoom, who faced defeat at the hands of Mohamed Nasheed –  now the opposition MDP’s Presidential Candidate – in the 2008 presidential elections,  said that despite the days leading up to the elections being few, there “is still time to make amends”.

Speaking about PPM’s Presidential Candidate Yameen – also Gayoom’s half brother – the former president said that he had high hopes that Yameen would secure an election victory from the first round without needing to go into a run-off election.

Should the party not be able to win the election in the first round, Gayoom expressed confidence that PPM would still secure the election victory with the support of political parties who would ally with the PPM.

“We want to win this election in a way that will benefit the whole country, even if it means forming a coalition with other political parties. We are a party that had previously worked with other parties,” Gayoom said.

Thowfeek today defended the commission against Gayoom’s claims, contending that the it was “fully prepared” to hold next month’s poll.

“If he had said this in 2008, yes, we may have not been very prepared. But I don’t think anyone has the chance to say that now. In 2008, the interim Elections Commission was formed and the Elections were held in the next month. But it is not the case now,” Thowfeek said.

Thowfeek also reiterated that the commission had successfully held the local council elections in 2010, which was far more complex than a presidential election.

“Unlike the local council elections, in a presidential election, only one common ballot paper is used throughout the country. In 2010, there were separate ballot papers for 19 atoll councils, 2 city councils, and for all island councils,” Thowfeek explained.

He also said that, like any other institution, the EC would also examine matters that could be reformed but assured that it had no serious concerns regarding the facilitation of September’s poll in a free and fair manner.

He added that the commission was addressing the issues raised by the PPM and said that it would hold a presentation session with all political parties regarding the IT system in use.

“With all the resources we have, I think we are doing exceptionally well. We will continue to address issues raised regarding the elections.”

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17 thoughts on ““Elections Commission unprepared” says former President Gayoom”

  1. There is not much problem with the preparations for the elections. The problem seems to that the votes may not be easily stolen and that,perhaps,the bangaalhees with newly-grown beards and fake Maldivian ID's may not be able to vote. Those fake cards are said to be a little thicker than the genuine ones and the colors a bit brighter. So watch out, Fuad !

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  2. Mr. Maumoon should be ashamed of himself. He should try to make peace in this country instead he keeps on saying things to create trouble. He has got the highest award just a few days ago if he has any love for the country he should spend time to serve the people just like Bill Clinton. Instead he is active in politics trying to add more firewood to the burning fire. Let Yamin n Jameel campaign they will do much better. Now we
    See the picture in a different way with Mr. Maumoon opening all party hot spots with Yamin having to take a back seat. Yamin is the future so that him play the role. People are loosing hope becauser. Maumoon is taking the lead on the campaign.

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  3. Mr. Maumoon should be ashamed of himself. He should try to make peace in this country instead he keeps on saying things to create trouble. He has got the highest award just a few days ago if he has any love for the country he should spend time to serve the people just like Bill Clinton. Instead he is active in politics trying to add more firewood to the burning fire. Let Yamin n Jameel campaign they will do much better. Now we See. the picture in a different way with Mr. Maumoon opening all party hot spots with Yamin having to take a back seat. Yamin is the future so that him play the role. People are loosing hope because. Mr. Maumoon is taking the lead in the campaign.

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  4. Dear Mr. Gayoom

    Please do your fellow Maldivians a favour and get out of the limelight. You are too old and retarded. You failed miserably. You have looted the country enough and inflicted harm on many innocent civilians. Who in the right mind in going to believe you or Yamin.
    Its best you spend your days rubbing your tummy!!!!

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  5. Naina, Yamin is the future? Please tell me. Does Yamin still go out of his way to make deliberately provocative and hurtful remarks just to show he has no fear? Yeah, the way only a person driven by deep, dark fear he is struggling to repress does. I feel genuine mercy for the wounded child within himself he is struggling to protect, but, it is not socially safe to allow a man driven by such deep aggressive fear to rule a nation. If he has dealt with that aspect of himself and can take criticism without becoming fearful and hostile, he would be a great leader.

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  6. Have to agree with old codger on this one. They are totally unprepared to present this election to his party on a sliver platter.

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  7. Ppms mistrust in the better organised elections commission seems to, due to yameens lack of appeal as a candidate even to hardcore Maumoon followers. Ppm members are disillusioned with yameen thr mob boss.

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  8. Says the old fart who was never prepared for the election results he could never influence.

    I say consign the PPM to the radioactive waste disposal silos.

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  9. “We are still quite uncertain and unsure why these people are here at this time,” said PPM MP Ahmed Nihan.

    Excellent. Neither Ahmed Nihan, nor his party has any business in the internal runnings of the Elections Commission. After all, it's an independent body with a specific mandate. P*ss off PPM and Nihan.

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  10. Naina, I agree with you that maumoon shldn't be in active politics anymore. He is making comments as though he is still relevant when in fact, the only people who care about what he says are only his loyalist.
    But to say that yameen is the future of this country is a joke. Yameen will be worst than maumoon. This guy is so bloody corrupt and so out of touch with the nation's need. Maumoon has to take the lead in the campaign because he knows, not only that yameen doesn't have his own followers but he is turning away lots of maumoon's supporters. And to have jameel as runningmate makes matters even worst for him. Who doesn't know what kind of a man jameel is. Incompetent, corrupt, arrogant man. His thirst for wealth is well known among those who know him. Together the two of them will leech this country dry.
    I'm not a supporters of nasheed. But if nasheed goes to second round with yameen, i will definitely give my vote to nasheed. Nasheed might have his own quirks, but yameen is evil. Yameen is never a choice!

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  11. If election is well prepared like the good old days , then PPM should get 99% votes for them, despite more then half the country oppose this family run clan.

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  12. It is a great shame that Mr Gayoom does not know how to retire. If he only knew what democracy and freedom are, he would not only have retired from politics a long time ago, and also advised all his sons, daughters and half-brothers also to keep away from politics.

    It is a measure of the stupidity of Maldivian politicians that Gayoom & Co continue to be prominent in the country. There is a time and place for everything. Mr Gayoom's time has long gone.

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  13. @Michael Fahmy on Sat, 24th Aug 2013 1:34 AM

    "There is a time and place for everything. Mr Gayoom’s time has long gone."

    Indeed. The old Pharaoh Abdel Gay Yoom will be mummified and will get paraded around election time for the foreseeable future. Generations of Maldivians will continue to be haunted by this tyrant.

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  14. Dear Ahmed Bin Addu (Sat 24th August 2013 3:37 AM),

    I am dying to vote in the upcoming presidential election. Please tell me what is the nearest polling station.

    I thought it was the Maldivian High Commission in London the last time round. During the reign of the Old Tyrant and Pharaoh Gayoom, I sent an email to the High Commission to which the High Commission did not reply.

    I have a Maldivian identity card, and an expired Maldivian passport also. I even have a name that is easily recognisable.

    I have grown into old age without voting in a single election, either local or national, in the Maldives.

    I have lived most of my life outside Maldives.

    The few times that I visited the Maldives, I left the country wondering whether I am really a Maldivian.

    Who is a Maldivian? Tell me who it is. Is the Maldivian defined in a way that I no longer recognise? Does the individual citizen in the Maldives have any individual freedoms and rights?

    Back to the last Pharaoh subject. I suppose that I must ask the Pharaoh who I am and what I am. Perhaps the Pharaoh is so great and sublime, that I am not allowed even to speak to him.

    Perhaps the Pharaoh is God Himself, or rather one of the many Gods. He is at a different level from the level where I am.

    I have no access to Pharaoh the God.

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