“Difficult” to consider elections credible unless Nasheed is allowed to contest: European Union

The European Union (EU) has declared that it would be “difficult” to consider the Maldives’ upcoming presidential elections credible unless former President Mohamed Nasheed is allowed to contest.

Nasheed is currently being tried in the Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court over his detention of Chief Judge of the Criminal Court Abdulla Mohamed.

His Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) maintain that the charges are a politically-motivated attempt to prevent Nasheed from contesting elections in September, and have condemned the former President’s repeated arrest on the court’s order by squads of masked special operations police.

A number of international institutions including the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Judiciary, Gabriela Knaul, and the UK’s Bar Human Rights Commission, have recently expressed concern about the politicisation of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC), the legitimacy of the Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court it created, and its appointment of the three member panel of judges overhearing the Nasheed trial.

The JSC’s members include several of Nasheed’s direct political opponents, including rival presidential candidate, resort tycoon and Jumhoree Party (JP) leader Gasim Ibrahim.

Last week, several members of the JSC also testified to parliament’s independent commissions oversight committee that the creation of the court and appointment of the judges were politically suspect.

JSC Member appointed by the public, Sheikh Shuaib Abdul Rahman, last week revealed that the JSC had openly discussed their intent to eliminate Nasheed from the upcoming elections.

Chair of the Commission, Supreme Court Judge Adam Mohamed, had abused his post and powers as the chair to try and eliminate Nasheed from contesting the elections, said Shuaib, alleging that Adam Mohamed had “used the commission as a political tool”.

“The politics of the majority control the commission, hence the rule of law, due process and due diligence do not exist in the JSC,” Sheikh Rahman stated. “The commission has no amount of respect for constitutional principles.”

“It is common now to hear a lot of MDP and Nasheed bashing in commission meetings. This was not how things usually were before. I believe politically biased comments like this have increased since Gasim joined the JSC as a representative of the parliament,” Sheikh Rahman said.

In a statement on Thursday, the European Union said it “reiterates its view that the participation of the preferred candidates from all political formations in the Maldives is essential to ensuring the success of the forthcoming elections; it would be difficult to consider them credible and inclusive if Mr Nasheed and his party were to be prevented from standing or campaigning.”

“The EU takes note of the acceptance by the prosecution of a defence request to defer the trial until after the upcoming presidential elections in September and hopes that this would offer the means to ensure that ex-President Nasheed is able to participate in the electoral campaign, under the same conditions as other candidates,” stated EU High Representative Catherine Ashton.

In the statement, the EU also reminded Maldivian authorities of their “commitment to ensuring [Nasheed’s] personal safety and security.”

“The EU encourages all parties to exercise restraint, to act responsibly, and to work together to ensure that the outcome of these elections fully reflects the wishes of the Maldivian people, so safeguarding the Maldives’ democratic institutions and enabling its next government to confront the serious economic, social and environmental challenges which the country faces,” the statement concluded.

Following the EU’s comments, President’s Office Spokesperson Masood Imad tweeted on Saturday (March 16) that “it’s not proper for governments to discredit the independence and integrity of our judiciary. Doing so is undermining Democracy in Maldives.”

Masood added that the 2013 elections would be free, fair and exclusive, but would be “exclusive” of individuals who did not meet the legal criteria.

Nasheed’s trial is meanwhile due to resume on April 4 following a four week recess granted by the court.  The hearing has been scheduled despite the state prosecution stating it had no objection to delaying the trial until after the September 7 elections.


30 thoughts on ““Difficult” to consider elections credible unless Nasheed is allowed to contest: European Union”

  1. What a ridiculous statement by EU.. way too biased but not surprising..

  2. Maldivian people are decedents of banished criminals probably from Sri lanka . If you want know the truth about Maldivian people, you have to look at the vague history of Maldivian people. The habit and life style of Maldivian is very much like those we see in prisons of other countries. Like prison inmates Maldivian are very tempered, and always interested to do things that common laws prohibits, decency does not exist in Maldivian, dietary habit and their preference to living in cramped messy environment very much resembles the life style of common criminals. Maldivians don’t have social hierarchy that differentiates commoners from hybrids, a proof all are decedents from common ancestors. There is urgent need of cross breeding to purify bad genes inherited from their criminal genealogical linage, This is the only way you can have a fair election, how can you expect a fair election when you can buy vote for few rufiyaa.

  3. @fisherman ur knowledge is far less than a fish.. so stop being a troll here.

  4. How can you have elections without the biggest political and democratic party?

    If things go bad for Nasheed, why not, Marya could as well be the first female islamic president, of course not wearing a buruga.

    MDP will win and may not even need coalition.

  5. @fisherman on Sat, 16th Mar 2013 5:40 PM

    "... decency does not exist in Maldivian, dietary habit and their preference to living in cramped messy environment very much resembles the life style of common criminals. Maldivians don’t have social hierarchy that differentiates commoners from hybrids."

    Have you published this new research of yours? Can we see it? What you have written above is a load of rubbish if I may say so. I don't know where you come from, but the cramped unhygienic South East Asian slum conditions of Male are not typical of the rest of the Maldives!

    Male is a slum for sure. It's hygienic conditions are on a par with the slums of Bombay or Dhaka. Overpopulation by Bangladeshis has probably contributed to much of that.

    I cannot even imagine why you would say that there is no social hierarchy in the Maldives. This place has hierarchy everywhere from the smallest island to the largest. Even the names of the older generation reflect their social status.

    Perhaps you are not a Maldivian. Our Dhivehi language has three forms of address for different social classes, which even I don't fully understand!

    Where I may agree with you is that we may have Sri Lankan ancestry. Our language and its old historic forms are in fact cousins of Sinhalese spoken in Sri Lanka. But Maldivians are not of a single origin. We are descendants of largely Sri Lankans, South Indians, Africans and others.

  6. No one is trying to Bar MDP contesting the election and they will have very right to contest in the election.

    Question is whether Fili Nasheed is eligible to participate or not ? For sure he had arrested the judge and senior political leaders outside the constitutional rights. Fili Nasheed must be made answerable to his crime ? If Fili Nasheed can prove himself of his innocence, then he should be allowed to contest and if not then should be banned from taking part in the election.

    Fili Nasheed can not be above the law.

  7. I agree with Ann. EU doesnt seem to have any knowledge of our politics and the history of Nasheed and his stunts. we should all boycott EU. why cant you wait and see, before ridiculing the whole EU with these outrages statements. I am hearing that there is going to be a huge protest against the EU.

  8. There is no reason EU to have any interest in Maldives election and EU will work with any elected president.

  9. Ann, what exactly do you find ridiculous? It indeed is a very logical and predictable statement of the EU and they are completely right to plea for fair elections. Even the cockroaches know the case against Nasheed is part of the political game. Political violence can not be tolerated, so what's wrong with demanding the personal safety of Nasheed?

    And yea, fisherman is blabbering. The only thing about genes he's got right is that cross breeding indeed is better to get a healthy gene pool. Maldivians having "criminal genes" is bullshit.

  10. When Nasheed came to power there was an agreement made by the Government, underwhich the Government procured waste management equipments for the region of Ari Atoll. When Nasheed came to power it was decided by the Govt that the equipments will be given to some other islands. The EU/ World Bank which was administering the project warned not to do it. Nasheed's Govt ignored and went ahead. Ask this question to the then environment minister Aslam. So why do Nasheed think we have to listen to EU when Nasheed's Govt itself ignored them.

  11. How come u say MDP will win alone? MDP has 45,000 members who will vote for its candidate.

    There are 85,000 members who belongs to other parties. And there are 106,000 people who haven't joined a political party.

    Do u think those silent voters will vote for Anni? The majority will prefer a Coalition..

    Even i am from MDP, but there is a reality that we all should accept, 45,000 is nothing out of 200,000+ eligible voters.

    MDP has a very little chance of winning the Elections this time, lets go back to 2008 elections, even during that time MDP got 44,293 votes (25.09%).. my projection for 2013 is 30-35% for MDP on first round and a landslide victory for the Coalition on 2nd round.

    If MDP has the guts to put forward a candidate other than Anni, I am sure it will get DRP's support.. lets see

  12. Maybe I missed a memo, but since when were "credible elections" actually a goal? Democracy has been kicked, beaten and stabbed to death and they're talking about credibility? Seems a very naive thing to actually say out loud.

  13. Mdp is allowed to take part but nasheed may not since he had arrested and kept in isolation of judges outside the law.

    If nasheed to can justify the arrest of judge then he can. If not he should not be allowed and need upkeep the rule of law here in Maldives.

    Nasheed is not above law and he should face the consequences of his actions

  14. Mr. Fisherman!
    Maldivians are non of what you probably think they are!
    Our forefathers, lets say a little less than a century ago, lived dignified life, owning vessels, hard working and earning enough, and did not owe no one!
    They lived contended life!
    Yes! They did not enjoy the many luxuries of today that were not even invented!
    And they never begged for their hooch, gooch or pooch like them who are begging for a five rufiya for a bottle of water which eventually end up being added for their "piece" for the night or for a ticket to the cemetery for not paying dues!

    Our forefathers were solvent and liquid when compared to this day!

    A fish will never know if it is a fish or not!
    Also many fisherman have been fishermen for their entire life, but never become fishing masters!
    Not probably, but because they were too stupid and ignorant!

    EU do have a stake in the Maldives and to my belief, they are clearly saying what they feel!

    I do agree with Masood Imad about not being exclusive!

    President Nasheed, if he ever did order the arrest of Abdulla Mohamed, judge of the Criminal Court, I would applaud him rather than putting him behind bars!

    President Nasheed was right about the arrest of Abdulla Mohamed!

    Try Abdulla Mohamed for his guilt, before trying President Nasheed for his guilt!

    Let us not be exclusive! Try Traitor Waheed for the coup of 7th February 2012. It was a coup, and Waheed was a part of it!

    Let us not be exclusive!

    Try Gasim, Yaameen, Kutti Nasheed, Abdulla Shahid, Chief Judge and those who helped in installing a traitor government! Be non exclusive! Hurry!

  15. Does EU explicitly saying that due process of the law should not apply to President Nasheed and that he should be able to contest the election..MDP has not been barred..neither has Nasheed - to this day.. It is probable that he may be barred if he is found guilty of violating the constitution.

  16. When the mighty EU makes statements purporting to support a particular person, it contradicts the fairness principle that is fundamental to democracy. This will only give ammunition to the extremists who portrays democracy as a foreign conspiracy to manipulate Maldives

  17. @reality on Sat, 16th Mar 2013 7:54 PM

    "we should all boycott EU. I am hearing that there is going to be a huge protest against the EU."

    Oh yeah? Try it. Do you want to survive just on Chinese tourists? Good luck with that! In case you're not aware, EU is not a single country, but 27 countries. Protesting against GMR is one thing, but the EU?

    All I can see is good luck as you will need it and it's not come raining from the heavens. Your very existence is supported by the nationals of the EU visiting this god forsaken place.

  18. @Ann on Sat, 16th Mar 2013 9:46 PM

    "my projection for 2013 is 30-35% for MDP on first round and a landslide victory for the Coalition on 2nd round."

    Your projection is probably about right. A "coalition" may on paper win as such, but they won't last long in government. They can barely tolerate each other as it is, and the only common ground between them is a hate of MDP!

    I don't believe that's reason enough for a "coalition" to survive. A "coalition" is a fudge where no one benefits. The politicians won't like it, since they lose overall control. A politician of any character won't want to have to take orders from people outside his party. Look at that sitting duck, traitor Waheed. I don't recall him having made any decision on his own!

  19. This is what I saw today

    Junta Waheed told his cabinet minister in Utheem, that he will make sure, "Nasheed is served justice before the election and will ensure Nasheed's name is not on the ballot". He said, "he doesn't give a damn to US/UN/EU/UK/CW or India and they should not interfere with our internal affairs". "MDP must find another candidate to compete in the election" he (Junta Waheed) said

  20. @Mode on Sat, 16th Mar 2013 10:14 PM.

    Aaaah! My friend!

    Majority rules, is the order of the day! Believe it or not!

    Traitor lovers in this country is a minority who are disgraced, and in distress!

    We have seen the so called "judge" who was being isolated, to my belief would be better off behind bars!
    He has been doing total injustice to people, the nation, and to justice itself!

    He has not only been a curse to the nation, but a very dangerous threat to it's security, which is now proven!

    Yet, you cannot give the slightest benefit of the doubt to the PG, and the many who have testified against this so called judge!

    No one should be or shall be above the law! Very true! Acceptable!

    If you can start from 1978, from the day MAG took office, then work down to the day President Nasheed took office, without excluding anyone, not even "your" MAG; do justice in the name of justice, in accordance to the common senses of judgment, and in line with the order of happening.

    Look deep to the deeds of Abdulla Mohamed, the Criminal Court so called judge, then look deep in to the work of the PG and the many who were complaining about him until President Nasheed was left with no alternative, but to request the Home Minister to isolate him constitutionally!

    If President Nasheed is singled out, targeted, and barred from presidency, because MAG cannot come into the scene because he will loose; well, to my mind, it seems really silly and you are not only naive or inconsiderate, but sadly mistaken!

  21. Explain me on what ground Nasheed took the on his own hand to abolish the judiciary systems ?

    Tell me why Nasheed had violated our constitution many times ?

    Tell me from where Nasheed got the authority to lock the supreme court ?

    Tell me from where Nasheed got the money to pay Ali waheed ?

    Tell me from where Nasheed got the money to pay Alhan Fahumee ?

    These are few things that need to be answered ?

    Majority is not the majority of MDP and majority is the majority of Maldives.

    Majority of Maldivian do not want Nasheed as the leader any more.

    MDP in reality will have just over 30 thousand members though in the books they have 46 thousand.

    Rest of the people are not Maldivian you mean? or they don't count ?

    When talk about the democracy and Nasheed ? Look at MDP, Nasheed had hijacked the party completely.

    Nasheed is not even willing to have an fair election within the party ? Nasheed is afraid to have primary to elected the presidential candidate ?

    Why ? because he knew that if there is an election within the party, he will have very narrow chance of winning the primary ? Nasheed want be the man and only the man in the party ?

    He is a real dictator in the name of democracy ?

  22. As an ordinary citizen of this country I feel insecure and confused at all what’s happening in this country. Senior Lawyers and UN expert and even members of Judicial Service Commission have said that the panel of judges for the bench looking into Mr. Nasheeds case is not constitutional but still the case is going on as it is. Is this proper justice? Is there no authority to correct the issue before continuing with the trail. Correct it and then go forward! That’s my appeal!

  23. Third world countries now have to hold elections according to the way its dictated by EU. Its the EU who decides who shall be contesting in the elections and who shall win the elections in third world countries. If the orders of EU are not obeyed, you shall be branded as undemocratic by the EU. This is very funny. Is this what EU is about? Dictating the poor and weak and still call themselves a democratic bloc. What a shame.

  24. EU also has better things to think about tahn elections of Maldives. Debt ridden Greece, collapsing economy of Italy and Spain, bail out means for many poor EU nations, failing euro currency, fundamental christianism, no government in Italy, homophobia in east EU states, UK hodling referendum to leave the EU, paedophilic catholic church, selling their bonds to china and brazil to save their collapsing economy etc etc. So please stay away from Maldives politics. We can manage our country well. You guys are anyway on the downfall, your people are getting poor and poorer each day, so think of those things first.

  25. If 100,000 people eligible to vote who hasn't joined any political party how do you know they will not vote for MDP? even if half of them vote for MDP candidate mdp will win.

  26. so eu is saying even a convicted criminal should be able to contest in elections even though its against the country's laws? no wonder eu is the verge of collapsing now.

  27. EU needs Anni. Anni is the only hope for them for the secret agenda. MDP members are blind.

  28. mr. yazir u r in the dark about what;s happening in the world. have u ever thought of a Maldives without aid frm any country? think in a positive way pls.

  29. @ ali.. yes, we need foreign aid, but we also have the right to protect the sovereignty of our country! don't u love ur country?

    @ hooligan.. yes MDP has a chance, but not with anni! u know that MDP's support is still at all time low, we need a better moderate candidate for MDP


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