This article was first published on Dhivehi Sitee. Republished with permission.
On the evening of September 9, two days after Maldivians voted in the country’s second democratic elections in which Mohamed Nasheed emerged with a resounding victory, Gasim Ibrahim’s Jumhooree Coalition launched a series of rallies under the name ‘Rigged Vote! Rigged Vote!’. Together with its ally, the radical ‘religious’ Adhaalath Party, the Jumhooree Coalition has been claiming that at least 20,000 additional votes were cast on 7 September. This is the second in Dhivehi Sitee’s English translations of speeches at the ‘Rigged Vote! Rigged Vote’ launch rally. Today, extracts from the speech by leader of Jumhooree Party, Gasim Ibrahim:
Yes, we know without a doubt that the number of votes we got in the provisional results announced by the Elections Commission is not the amount of votes people gave us. I understand very clearly that more than 70,000 Maldivians voted for us. We will never forgive, never forgive, this major crime committed by the Elections Commission. Will never forgive, okay?
It is not 50,000 votes that I got from Maldivians. I know this because how were dead people voted for, those votes counted and included in the list? When there are such huge responsibilities to be assigned and when such big changes are made, I must say the people responsible must hurry to deliver the right. They must hurry. We don’t appoint people to positions so they can say this is a power in our hands and harass and badger.
I am saying it very clearly, we have no doubt that the High Court and the Supreme Court, too, will deliver us our right. Yes, in ‘critical moments’ like this, my appeal to the courts is to hurry up. See it as a right and give us a judgement fast. I have no doubt these courts will rule this way. That is, the courts will see this as a right and come to that decision fast. I don’t believe that at a time like this, when the entire peoples’ future rests and builds on this that such things should get stuck. I don’t believe that something like this should be open to influence or power from outsiders.
What I want to say is, the MNDF and or police and army of the national security force must give the protection they must give to our judges. Especially in a moment like this, when their protection and security is of such importance, I beg the president of the Maldives. I ask for the protection of those people [judges].
Yes, even in a short period of about eight hours, we have found about 800 dead people. We can check this out properly when we get the voters lists from the polling stations. We are certain that about 20,000 votes have been cast against the law and procedures. That is why the results show we have less votes than we got. I don’t know whether the votes we got have been rigged and moved from this side to that side.
What is certain is that it is not 50,000 votes that we got. I believe the result should have more than 70,000 votes. Those are people who joined us and supported us. These people are sobbing in all corners of the country, shedding tears of pain and crying: ‘this is not the reality, so many crimes have been committed. We saw people, dressed in a particular colour, closing up the cote boxes with shaking hands.”Yes, I am telling you about Laamu Atoll. A person monitoring near one of our vote boxes there told me s/he saw a person wearing a yellow shirt closing a box in this state.
We are leading. We are leading. When you minus that 90,000 votes [received by MDP], we are the leaders. Yes, when you subtract 20,000 from those 90,000, I believe it is us who are in the lead.
We know it is our vote that was changed. I am telling you what I believe. I am telling you what I believe. Maldivians, have courage. I am ready to make any sacrifice with my body and my money to bring you Maldivians a happy and prosperous life. We will not give in to anyone. This talk of me hospitalised for a heart attack — these are all blatant lies to dishearten you. This talk of me endorsing this person or endorsing that person. We will endorse when we have to endorse. But today we don’t have to endorse. There is nobody we will endorse. God willing, it is others who will have to endorse us. We don’t have to endorse anyone. We are not in such a position yet.
Even if you have to vote twice or thrice, I tell you, don’t hesitate. Do as we say. Like Imran said, we will tell you what the most right, most sincere decision is for the sake of this nation, this land. When we tell you this decision, I call on you to double the support you have for us and decide to work with us.
God willing, it will be Gasim Ibrahim who will be the President of the Maldives on 11 November. Allah willing, do not doubt this. I tell you, do not doubt this.
Ask Allah for strength. Pray to Allah. Get strength from Allah and pray. That then is how Allah will decide things. There is no other calculation than this [Allah’s]. What I am telling you is the Right. Even if some people are deceiving you, the Right will win, Allah willing. Allah has guaranteed victory for the Righteous. Reminding you of this will give you Maldivian citizens strength and good thinking. I am ending this with the prayer that God will give you the ability to think right.