Elections Commission demands Gayoom explain allegations of “vote rigging”

The Elections Commission (EC) has forwarded a letter to the Former President Maumoon Abdul requesting he clarify his claim that “election results do not turn out the way people vote”, as the remarks have raised public concerns over the commission’s integrity.

Elections Commission President Fuad Thaufeeq said on Sunday that the commission was “shocked” to hear the remarks and wanted to understand the reasons as to why Gayoom made such a claim.

Fuad said that the comments implying vote rigging have “provided reason for people to look at the commission with doubt” as it came from the former President, who had many supporters and currently leads the third largest political party in Maldives.

“So we have sent a letter to Gayoom today requesting he clarify his remarks” Fuad said.

Gayoom made the remarks at a meeting of the Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) on Thursday, after reiterating the PPM interim council’s decision to advice against MP Abdul Raheem Abdulla’s intention to resign and contest for the Laamu Fonadhoo seat on a PPM ticket.

“I know that if he resigns he will be re-elected on a comfortable majority on a PPM ticket,” Gayoom said. “I don’t doubt that at all. However, we know the state of affairs in the country right now – election results do not turn out the way people vote. So what are we going to do?”

Under parliamentary rules of procedure, only parties that contested and won parliamentary elections can be officially represented in parliament.

He added that PPM would be officially recognised by parliament when it resumes in March.


The ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) meanwhile released a statement yesterday condemning Gayoom’s remarks, contending that it was an attempt to “bring the Elections Commission, an independent institution, into disrepute, turn the public against it and plunge the nation into a pit of discord and conflict.”

The statement noted that former Elections Commissioners were directly appointed by Gayoom while island chiefs “hovered around ballot boxes.”

Speaking at the MDP headquarters Haruge last night, President Mohamed Nasheed recalled that he was jailed for two years under the previous government for writing about alleged election fraud in a Sri Lankan newspaper.

Nasheed explained that the article pointed out irregularities in the results for a parliamentary election contested by current Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed and former minister Ilyas Ibrahim, brother-in-law of President Gayoom.

In another election where Nasheed contested a seat in parliament in the late 1990s, “after the ballot box was kept in [presidential retreat] Aarah for three days, the results were announced with 300 votes between myself and [former minister] Abdulla Kamalludeen.”

Under the former government, Nasheed continued, there were cases where “more than double the population was supposed to have voted” and “people whose death had been confirmed was said to have voted.”

PPM rally

At Thursday night’s rally, Gayoom urged supporters to intensify efforts to double party membership ahead of its inaugural national congress in April.

While the EC currently lists the number of PPM members as 13,859 as of December 25, Gayoom revealed that the party was in the process of correcting administrative errors in forms returned by the commission, adding that “the true number of PPM members is over 20,000.”

PPM “is the future of the Maldives,” Gayoom continued, as it is the only party that could foster national unity and “get rid of the conflict, discord and enmity among the people.”

“Our only purpose now, and the focus of all our thought and capabilities, should be winning next year’s presidential election,” he said.

A PPM government would restore national unity, revive the spirit of working together and ensure economic prosperity, Gayoom said.

“Our government will not be one that takes revenge or offers opportunity to only certain people,” he continued. “[Our government] will not defame persons for political ends and expose them in parliament and media. Our government will not give over state assets and property to foreigners. Our government will serve the public in line with Islamic principles and through the democratic process.”

The number of days left “for the formation of this government” is now “765 days,” he said.


17 thoughts on “Elections Commission demands Gayoom explain allegations of “vote rigging””

  1. "Our government will serve the public in line with Islamic principles and through the democratic process."

    Right, let's translate this weighty statement from Gayyoom. Looking back at his 30 year record, here are my thoughts on what this means.

    (1) Build an even bigger Palace for him and his family so that they can enjoy what no Maldivian will ever enjoy on this earth.

    (2) Ensure that every corner of the country his filled with his cronies so he can continue to rig elections till the day he dies.

    (3) Ignore the ever growing social problems of a growing population that are suffocating in shanty towns such as Male.

    (4) Pretend to be the holier than thou preacher of Islam, Mr know-it-all, the defender of the faith and beg for money from oil rich Middle Easter kingdoms.

    (5) Use the money that he manages to scrounge (as mentioned above), to further enhance the living standards of him, his family and anyone who will lick his feet.

    I can continue, but I think that's just a flavour of what he really means.

  2. Haha!

    Gayyoom finally made a mistake in his speech!

    Normally polished to mirror reflection, his speeches are flawless, but i guess time takes its toll, against him as well.

    I feel sorry for Gayoom. Does he really think when his cronies by his side claim that the public still accepts him?? Is he getting Alzheimers disease or something???

  3. I think he meant what he said.

    Public confidence in institutions are already low and attempts are made by all major political parties to diminish that trust.

    These include;

    1) Appointing half-baked wannabe-politicians to important posts in Commissions.

    2) Attempts by State institutions and undeniably the Executive in particular to ignore the recommendations and instructions of institutions.

    3) Open party politics co-opting the function of a lot of Commissions creating media headlines that give the public the perception that this Commission opposes that State institution.

    4) The appointment process itself is flawed in some cases.

  4. How can we trust a man that received bribes from all over the world and sent people to jail whenever they manifestly showed a disagreement with its policy. How can we trust a man that use the public money for his private purposes when he should had made hospitals and schools. How can we trust a man that instead of building a university he build little pentagon? How can we trust a man that silenced all the different opinions durimg 30 years and is now requesting once more to be the only one bearing the true? How can we ever listen to such a man that made SIN his credo. Did you all forget what his family did including his brother playing around with boys? Or his weekends in Colombo paid with public money?
    What do you have to say to this now, Sheikh Imran Abdullah?
    May ALLAH (SWT) help us to find the path of true and development for our country and never allow that Gay-oom to come back. May GoD bless us all.

  5. This is the same guy who scored 93% 95% and 97% in all elections. We kept quiet because we will end up in Dhoonidhoo if we question these figures. Today he has the biggest mouth in town to say the Election Commission is bias. Unless we send him to Kudhahuvadu, we may never bring this to end. At least people there knows how to deal with these crooks.

  6. Gayyoom once got 100% votes. None of my family member or anyone i know voted for him ever! I wonder how 100% votes can be obtained. So he is not the best person to speak about votes or the fairness of elections when he himself was corrupt at his time and even now.

    Voting a retard would bring destructive damage to people as well as to the country's image. And no one who has a brain would wish to be on the side of an oldylox.

  7. What this country has plenty, are PhD's in religion and translators of politicians.

    Despite the ease of flow of words from politicians, they require additional support in clarifying what they really mean.

  8. @tsk tsk.

    Agree with what you say about Gayyoom meaning what he has said!
    But I very much doubt if you would have seen any vote rigging in his time!
    As the Election Commissioner say, and every one can see, in the current system, there is no room for any such rigging that was being conducted during the time Gayoom ruled!

    During the presidential election held before the last one which voted Gayyoom out, voting was conducted in all the islands of an island on a Friday.
    The one and only ballot box was kept in the school.
    Voting was stopped for Friday Prayers.
    Everyone went for prayers. Tha Ballot box should have been taken to the office and should be under lock and keys!
    Instead, 2 heads of different islands were seen carrying the ballot box all by themselves with no one else present!
    The island office where it should have been kept was to the east of the school, and they are walking southwards in the direction of the residence of the headman who belong to that island.
    A person asked them if they could not get anyone else to carry it for them?
    The 2 headmen stammered; they said they could not, and the house where they were carrying it to was very close, and that because it was nearly time for prayers, they decided to leave it in that house, take a quick shower and attend prayers!
    In fact, the office where it should have been kept was very much closer to the school than the house they were carrying it to!
    Surprisingly they could not attend that Friday prayer!
    I cast my ballot against Gayyoom in to that box. But when count was announced, that island was 100% for him!
    About the public confidence in the institutions, one cannot expect much from a government that has "civil servants" who are visibly and invisibly working towards bringing down that government at all cost!
    Time perhaps will tell!

  9. Correction:

    voting was conducted in all the islands of an atoll on a Friday.

  10. @BMW:

    This might shock you to know but I agree with everything you've said.

    Maldives was an autocratic country then and independent state institutions did not exist. The then Elections Commission answered to the President who had effective control over the Parliament. So no surprise there.

    Also, this knee-jerk conclusion that democracy is the solution to everything needs to be examined further.

    Let us say the Elections Commission post-2008 monitors the casting of ballots more closely.

    What about campaigning?

    Do you claim that bribes are not offered for votes now?

    Do you claim that State resources and government development projects are not used to secure votes for the ruling party?

    Do you claim that voters have been provided sufficient awareness regarding their right to vote, the implications of their choice and the system of democracy as a whole?

    Without proper awareness and a higher standard of living is the right to vote really exercised any more freely now than it was in the Qayyoom administration?

    I beg to differ.

  11. Democracy must be dismantled, garroted, burnt, and stomped on; the petty politics of the unwashed masses is no substitute for the far sighted vision of a strong, virtuous leader!

  12. @ tsk tsk.
    I do not disagree with what you have mentioned, and I can never claim they do not happen here. It is a happening many more countries.

    I would think if the oppositions are brave and honest, they too should be trying to raise these standards. Pressure the government in the proper way instead of trying to topple it right from day 1.

    If it is good governance you are seeking; I salute you!
    Let each and everyone be answerable to his/her actions, present or past!


  13. Gayoom is surely suffering from dementia to say the following ......

    “Our government will not be one that takes revenge or offers opportunity to only certain people,” he continued. “[Our government] will not defame persons for political ends and expose them in parliament and media. Our government will not give over state assets and property to foreigners. Our government will serve the public in line with Islamic principles and through the democratic process.”

    1. Gayoom took revenge and defamed people for political ends
    2. Gayooms government handed over state assets to foreigners . ie Dhiraagu
    3. Gayoom opposed democracy and political parties, and locked up our citizens for daring to speak of liberty.

    And we have 20,000 people supporting the ramblings and spin of this man? Sad, very sad.

  14. Add to the above

    4. During Gayooms administration opportunities were given to only to certain people (friends and family). if he has forgotten he did that, he certainly needs treatmentfor his loss of memory. .

  15. Add more:

    [5] No one other than their close friends, relatives or liked ones were granted scholarships/ medical assistance throughout Gayyoom’s 30 years presidency.

    [6] The Judiciary in the present day is under his grip. He was the one who appointed them with no proper procedure/ regulation. Many of them are uneducated (do not have the standard of primary education).

    [7] Religious perspectives are his perspectives only. No one other than Gayyoom was permitted to have any say in religious issues. Anyone who stands against his religious policies are jailed for any number of years he wishes.

    [8] Use of state funds were out of limits in Gayyoom's 30 long years administration which resulted in printing of additional local currency that resulted in the devaluation of Maldivian Rufiyaa.


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