Gasim calls for state of emergency to pursue criminal prosecution of Elections Commission

Jumhooree Party (JP) presidential candidate, Gasim Ibrahim, called on President Dr Mohamed Waheed to take action against Elections Commission (EC) members for allegedly violating the constitution “even by declaring a state of emergency.”

Speaking during a debate at today’s sitting of parliament, the JP leader contended that EC members had violated the constitution by allegedly “speaking against article 113”, which states that the Supreme Court shall have sole and final jurisdiction to determine all disputes concerning the election of a presidential candidate.

EC members should face criminal prosecution for allegedly divesting the constitution of its power and authority, the MP for Alif Dhaal Maamigili insisted.

Following the presidential election on September 7 in which he came third with 24 percent of the vote, Gasim alleged electoral fraud and contested the results in the Supreme Court, which subsequently annulled the polls on October 7.

The business tycoon went on to call upon President Waheed to “act in accordance with the constitution even by declaring a state of emergency” as failure to do so would see “the nation fall outside the bounds of the constitution.”

Chapter 11 of the constitution empowers the president to declare a state of emergency for 30 days “[i]n the event of natural disaster, dangerous epidemic disease, war, threat to national security, or threatened foreign aggression”.

However, the declaration of the state of emergency must be submitted to the People’s Majlis for approval within 48 hours, after which parliament has the authority to revoke the declaration.

Asked about Gasim’s appeal at a press conference today, President Waheed said the EC faced a number of serious difficulties and that the commission had done a lot of work within a short period.

“I don’t believe this is the time to take legal action against them. There is still room to work together to resolve the issue,” he said.


Gasim’s remarks came during a debate on an early day motion submitted by the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Ali Azim calling on Speaker of Parliament Abdulla Shahid to assume the presidency if a president-elect cannot be sworn in on November 11 as stipulated by the constitution.

The motion without notice – a non-binding motion that opens the floor for a one-hour debate – also called for the immediate resignation of President Waheed, contending that his administration had obstructed the constitutionally mandated presidential election from taking place.

Article 110 states, “Elections for the office of President shall be held within one hundred and twenty days to thirty days prior to the expiry of the existing presidential term.”

Presenting the motion, Azim noted that the constitutional deadline to conclude a presidential election expired on October 10. He argued that amendments to the relevant laws as well as interim arrangements with the Speaker assuming the presidency was necessary to avoid a constitutional void after November 11.

While the Supreme Court judgment annulling the September 7 election stated that the current president could remain in the post after November 11 in the absence of a president-elect, Azim said that the judgment was “unconstitutional.”

“If extra time beyond that given by the constitution is needed, under the principle of necessity, to complete a specific task as specified in the constitution, it does not necessitate the end of a legal government in place. That such a government will continue to exist under the doctrines of ‘state of necessity’ and ‘continuity of legal government’ under such circumstances is recognised by both constitutional and legal jurisprudence,” the Supreme Court stated in the case summary of its judgment.

In the parliamentary debate on the motion today, MDP parliamentary group leader, MP Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, contended that the Maldivian state has lost its democratic status as citizens have been deprived of “one of the most important bases of democracy.”

Constitutional void

Pro-government MPs meanwhile spoke against the MDP’s motion, insisting that the Supreme Court was the highest authority on constitutional matters.

“We have to accept the decisions of the Supreme Court,” MP Riyaz Rasheed said in response to MDP MPs arguing that the EC did not have to abide by the guidelines imposed on it by the Supreme Court judgment.

Independent MP for Kulhudhufushi South, Mohamed ‘Kutti’ Nasheed – legal reform minister under former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom – argued that the speaker could not assume the presidency after November 11 even if President Waheed resigned.

Nasheed explained that the constitution did not specify a process to be followed in the event that a president is not elected by the end of the five-year presidential term on November 11. The constitution only specified a process for fresh elections if the president or vice president resigned before the end of their terms, he said.

Article 124(b) of the constitution states, “In the event of the permanent incapacity, resignation, removal or death of both the President or the Vice President, and both offices becoming vacant at the same time, leading to an incapacity to carry out the duties of the President, until such time as a President and a Vice President shall be elected, the duties of both offices shall temporarily be carried out, in order of priority, by the Speaker of the People’s Majlis, or by the Deputy Speaker of the People’s Majlis, or by a member of the People’s Majlis elected by a resolution of the People’s Majlis, until successors in office are chosen.”

“However, this constitution does not say what should be done if a president is not elected within the period in which it must be done,” Nasheed said.

If President Waheed resigns after November 11, Nasheed suggested that parliament should amend the constitution to specify a process to be followed in the absence of a president or vice president after the end of their terms.


24 thoughts on “Gasim calls for state of emergency to pursue criminal prosecution of Elections Commission”

  1. That is an admirable goal. Thank you Mr. Qasim for having the best interest of the country near at heart. Your invaluable contributions to our country's peace, prosperity and democracy will not go unrewarded.


  3. Gasim O Gasim get thee to a shrink as thou has't let down thine nation quite enough. On the other hand your machinations are the most transparent of the whole lot -thanks to you we can see even better what's coming.. get your own EC (just like your own SC) and job done, what's the problem? Cloud cuckoo land you are all in, that's what. Nutters with clout, that's what we have (for now). Predictably certifiable. How long do we have to wait for the penny to drop?

  4. Mohamed Kutti Nasheed fails at even twisting and deriving a new meaning from the constitution.

    It's quite clear for even a layman that Article 124(b) in the constitution is perfectly applicable to the scenario where the nation fails to elect a new president by November 11.

    what an idiotic statement by Kutti.

  5. Kutti is right and laymen should not be interpreting the law. The matter should be settled by the courts. Pity though, given the low public confidence in our courts.

  6. “However, this constitution does not say what should be done if a president is not elected within the period in which it must be done,” Nasheed said.

    (1) My advice to Nasheed. Get some tuition on logical reasoning and the subject of logic. For someone who claims to be a lawyer, the above statement is pretty idiotic.

    (2) The key part of the clause is:

    "... and both offices becoming vacant at the same time, leading to an incapacity to carry out the duties of the President, until such time as a President and a Vice President shall be elected, the duties of both offices shall temporarily be carried out, ..."

    That does NOT mention any periods in which that clause may NOT apply. It very clearly stipulates that whenever there is an "incapacity to carry out the duties of the President", there is an order of succession in order to keep the Executive functioning.

    Do you think this Qaanoon Asaasee (Constitution) was constituted by such morons as to leave such a big hole in it? There can't be a bigger hole than allowing the seat of the Executive to be undecided at AL points in time. Also FYI, it WAS NOT the monkey house of MPs that drafted this Constitution!

  7. I don't know whether to feel sorry for Gasim or just to laugh at his stupidity. Probably a bit of both I guess.

    (1) A state of emergency means, the Constitution gets suspended.

    (2) There are very specific circumstances in which a President can declare a state of emergency. Off the top of my head, they range from a severe natural disaster or a declaration of war.

    (3) The best that can be read from this is that Gasim is a power hungry maniac and a control freak. Since he's very pissed off as things are not going HIS way, he'd like just to take control and run things HIS way.

    (4) Conclusion: Gasim and democracy are like oil and water. PS: For the mentally challenged (i.e. the likes of Kuribee, Hero etc), oil and water do not mix at all.

  8. "Faculty of Democracy, Dictatorship and Corruption"

    Degrees offered at Villa College of Politics. Admission fee is FREE for anyone who joins JP. Qualifications? You have some touch of a polygamist, sex addict, a judge or Grade 6 qualification.

    Application forms available in Villa office, Thilafushi

  9. Maldives attempts to have a fair election.
    I have followed your presidential candidate MP Gasim Ibrahim panic-stricken attempts to interrupt democratic process. He got fair and square defeated by a land slide but cannot take the defeat. He has now made the whole Court system in the Maldives look ridiculous. Obviously have some unknowing members in the system on the payroll. And now the most ridiculous of it all accusing the elections commission.
    It’s about time India as the largest and most responsible country in the area take charge. Take over and run a democratic election in the country.
    Ore they get a weary unstable 'banana republic' dominated by rich businessmen or other elites and a impoverished working class, commercially exploited for private profits by the State itself for the benefit of small elite class.

  10. You can influence some "cheap" people by inviting them & family to your resorts but guess what? Money can't buy everybody and everything!!!

  11. @tsk tsk on Mon, 21st Oct 2013 10:19 PM

    "Kutti is right and laymen should not be interpreting the law. The matter should be settled by the courts."

    Fortunately for those who love democracy, our laymen are more educated and intelligent than anyone you can find in the courts! However, that's unfortunate for Gasim and his friends.

  12. Qasim,

    Please serve some Alcohol and pork to the judges you bought. You not only humiliating yourself but the majority of the Supreme court bench. I think it is you who should be arrested and investigated for many crimes you committed.

  13. "…..there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. This coolness arises partly from fear of the opponents, who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of men, who do not readily believe in new things until they have had a long experience of them. Thus it happens that whenever those who are hostile have the opportunity to attack they do it like partisans, whilst the others defend lukewarmly, in such wise that the prince is endangered along with them."

    “If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.”

    ― Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

    Gasim will pay because an example will have to be made. To compel the elite from meddling unlawfully in public affairs and to sate public thirst for vengeance, Gasim is perfect. Big, unloved and expendable.

    He has much to fear.

  14. Hello Mister Maamingili.... you can wrap "state of emergency" on your middle finger and bend. i will guide you to insert the "state of emergency in its place..

  15. @peasant:

    Qasim? Expendable? You clearly know very little about Maldivian politics.

    MDP's biggest financiers include Abdulla Shahid's business partners, the Chaandhaneemaage Clan. That clan is heavily indebted to Qasim giving him great influence over MDP by extension.

    Hence, the fact that he does not really fear the outcome in which MDP gets elected as much as Yameen and the others do.

  16. As long as their national identity card number and date of birth were same, their national ID photo matched with the person who voted, it should be now reason for annulling the election.
    Its fair the person that got it annulled with collaborator pay the bill. (I believe its 70 / 80 million mrf.)


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