Government rules out 2012 presidential vote on the back of by-election “Mandate”

The government has said that victory yesterday for its coalition partners in two parliamentary by-elections is a clear indication of its “mandate” amongst the Maldivian people to remain in power until 2013, despite continued local and international calls for early elections.

Following the weekend’s elections, government spokesman Abbas Adil Riza today called on international bodies to take the results of the polls into consideration when reflecting on the need for fresh national polls.

Amidst mostly peaceful voting, official provisional results from the country’s Elections Commission showed that Ahmed Shareef of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and the Jumhoory Party’s (JP) Abdullah Jabir both beat ousted Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) candidates to take seats in the People’s Majlis.

From a government perspective, Abbas claimed that the by-elections should be seen as a “vote of confidence” by the public in the national unity government made up of parties such as the JP, the PPM and the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP).

However, the MDP maintained yesterday that the by-elections indicated that the country was able to hold “free and fair elections” as soon as possible.

“The MDP has consistently called for early presidential elections in the Maldives to resolve the political deadlock that exists since the unlawful transfer of power on February 7 following police and military backed coup in the Maldives,” stated MDP spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor .

“Elections today are held at a time when [former President Maumoon Abdul] Gayyoom has publicly stated early Presidential elections would not be held in the Maldives citing conditions for elections are not right and also that Elections Commission does not have the capacity to hold early elections in the Maldives.”

Public support

In addressing the MDP’s claims, government spokesperson Abbas believed the results of polling for the two parliamentary and two Island Council seats indicated public acceptance of President Waheed’s administration.

“It is clear that there is public support in the country for this government and that there are not any problems with its constitutional mandate to be in power. In three out of the four elections held, the coalition won by a clear majority,” said Abbas. “The MDP has continued to call for early elections, though yesterday’s elections show that the public backs the government until early elections can be held in July 2013.”


Abbas’ comments were made as the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG), which was last month criticised by President Waheed’s government for showing “bias” in calling for early elections, is set to convene tomorrow.

The political situation in the Maldives since the transfer of power that bought President Waheed into office on February 7 will be a key topic of discussion for the tomorrow’s meeting. The CMAG panel meeting tomorrow comprises of foreign ministers from Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Jamaica, Sierra Leone,Tanzania and Trinidad and Tobago.

Since CMAG made its original statement last month about the Maldives situation, the US and EU have also pledged to support the Commonwealth in working to facilitate fair, early elections.

Earlier this month, the US government pledged US$500,000 (Rf7.7 million) to help fund an elections program to assist Maldivian institutions in ensuring a free and fair presidential election.

In announcing the elections funding,Chargé d’Affaires of the US Embassy in Colombo Valerie Fowler said at the time that the US would “work with the Commonwealth to help the Maldives work through the current situation to elections”.

The US will lend any support, including technical assistance, to ensure the next presidential election in the Maldives is conducted “smoothly and observed the rule of law”, Fowler said.

“Through USAID we are in the process of starting an election programme that will assist Maldivian institutions in ensuring a free and fair presidential election. We have allocated US$500,000 to start that process and anticipate that we can begin as soon as July 2012.”

However, Fowler noted that the US believed there needed to be an “environment conducive to early elections”, an aim that could only be created through dialogue, as well as capacity building measures.


13 thoughts on “Government rules out 2012 presidential vote on the back of by-election “Mandate””

  1. The bi-election was not a contest to determine the legitimacy of this government. It still proved MDP has won most votes for a single party. The two seats are areas MDP was quite weak even before. Results show tremendrous gain this time.

    Now there should be no excuse for not having an early election. Waheed and co were saying the conditions were not right for an election. Now we know people are ready for an election.

    International community should step up their pressure to hold an early election to keep a legitimate and a democratic government in this country. Otherwise the rest will follow the footstep of the coup leaders.

  2. if mdp had won , mdp would have made the same claim!! hypocracy is all they are capable of!!!!!

  3. Abbas Adil Riza speaking rubbish is not going to disqualify the fact that non of the rebels can back out and give way for people to speak through the ballot box.

    The people of the constituencies where weekend election was held is only a fraction of this country.

    Waheed, the Forces, the business community who backed the unlawful uprising and the eventual coupe and Maumoon who is said to be the master mind behind all these will ever want go to the polls and let the peoples speak through the ballot box!

    This is the mere reason why these people, and especially Maumoon is howling that conditions in this country is not right for an election. Now or ever! And sadly Maldivians are aware of this fact!

    And more over, Waheed and his government should be ashamed to have claimed victory with the realities of brutality and intimidation that was carried out during his campaign trips to Thaa Atoll and what was done by the Police Forces yesterday especially in Thimarafushi while election was going on. It is a slap on the face of Democracy!

    And Maumoon, with due respect; may now stop worrying about Maldive because he has done enough to the people of Maldives!

  4. As deluded they are again another claim by the Gov. Abbas Adil Riza you need some medication for your sick brain. Kaashidhoo and Thimarafushi does not represent the majority of people who are fighting for an early election. The coup is not legitimate and we demand an EARLY election.

  5. Now, it's very clear that the country is ready for general elections. Elections Commission performed their duties as required and the polls were peaceful.

    There are no grounds for the regime in dragging their feet with excuses about the readiness for polls! Now, the new excuse is that the polls have shown their legitimacy.

    Well, two by-elections do not represent the voice of the entire country! Furthermore, Gasim and other tycoons do not have the cash reserves to spend on the same level as they did for these two seats. They spent vast amounts of cash in bringing about a result in their favour.

    The country should hold general elections pronto! The junta and its business wing do not have the cash to bribe the entire nation and there's a greater chance of seeing the will of the people in a general election.

  6. Abbas Adil Riza's deduction ability is in line with that of his president Waheed. If Thimarafushi and Kaashidhoo constituencies are what they regard as the entire population of Maldives, then we have all the more reason to hold elections early and save ourselves from these two lunatics and their government!These coup government people are like little kids looking for excuses to not to go to bed early!

  7. The point is, we can hold elections !
    Local issues are very different to the national issue. Let the people speak.


  8. You can not fool (bribe) all the people all of the time.
    Election now, we are all ready to have one, this has been categorically proven this weekend.

  9. A 100% gain in Kaashidhoo constituency voter base from 20% in 2008 to 44.5% in 2012 is very encouraging for the MDP. This was in spite of the fact Coup conspirator Gasim Ibrahim slipped in as an "elections observer" there!

    The intimidation in the Thimarafushi constituency however overshot acceptable thresholds. The MDP candidate not only had his Guraidhoo observer in jail without a replacement, they also had Coup backed political appointees supervising voting. Winning candidate Shareef creamed off the Elections Commission as Sec Gen up to a month before turning into a candidate! Guraidoo voted 200% for Shareef!

    Anything is possible in a Banana Republic!

  10. The truth behind peoples' attitude to these elections is this: the common man/woman knows full well that once elected, these chaps will never be seen again and their promises are worth absolutely nothing.

    With that view firmly in their mind, they vote for the guy who hands out the biggest wad of cash. Can we blame the people for this?

  11. Valerie Fowler is a CIA stooge. Ask he why there was a Defense Department guy in Male' on 7 February monitoring the coup.

  12. We came to know about the situation when the Indian Embassy started to make arrangements with the party leaders.

    DoD did not make any move on the February 7th.


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