International opinion “firmly behind” second round as scheduled: Commonwealth Special Envoy

International opinion is “firmly behind” the need for a second round of elections to proceed as planned on September 28, Commonwealth Special Envoy to the Maldives Sir Donald McKinnon declared in a statement today.

“There are always losers in every election everywhere, but the winners here must be the people of Maldives. The results of their votes must be paramount to the process and the result,” McKinnon said.

Jumhooree Party (JP) candidate Gasim Ibrahim is seeking to annul the results of the first round in the Supreme Court, after narrowly missing the run off with 24.07 percent of the vote.

The Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) has sided with the JP in court, while Attorney General Azima Shukoor has intervened on behalf of the government and called for police to investigate the Elections Commission (EC).

The EC has so far disputed allegations of electoral impropriety, noting that allegations raised so far even if factual would have no material effect on the outcome of the first round.

The commission also pointed to unanimous positive assessments of the first round polls by local and international election observers.

However the JP’s lawyer and election running mate, Dr Hassan Saeed, declared yesterday in court that these election observations did “carry not much weight”, and sought a delay of the second round pending the court’s decision on whether to annul the polls.

“I was very pleased by the positive findings of the national and international observers, including those of the Commonwealth Observer Group,” said Sir McKinnon today.

“This election marks a renewal of the country’s democratic credentials, with an 88 percent voter turnout. This displays a determination to get the country back on to a sound democratic foundation,” he said.

“I sincerely call on all political leaders to respect the intentions and expectations laid out in the constitution. I look forward to remaining closely engaged with Maldives as the country affirms its commitment to Commonwealth democratic values in the coming days and weeks, in the lead up to the inauguration of a newly elected President on 11 November 2013,” he concluded.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma also issued a statement, declaring that the international body “looks forward to seeing a smooth and peaceful continuation of the electoral process already underway.”

“The Secretary-General emphasised that the expression of the will of the people through the ballot box is fundamental to Commonwealth values,” Sharma stated.

Commonwealth observers will be returning to Maldives for the run-off round of the presidential election, he added.

Don’t undermine elections without evidence: Transparency

Transparency Maldives has called on parties to the presidential election not to undermine the credibility of the results without evidence.

Transparency deployed the single largest team of election observers with 400 monitors across the country.

“In view of the cases submitted and allegations made at the High Court and Supreme Court of the Maldives regarding systematic vote rigging, Transparency Maldives notes that it did not find any evidence that support allegations of systematic election day fraud during the nationwide observation,” Transparency stated.

Transparency Maldives appeals to all actors and institutions to refrain from undermining the integrity of and confidence in the election day processes without credible evidence of fraud.

Parties must “respect the democratic process,” says US

The United States has also issued a statement calling for all political parties to “respect the democratic process and continue to allow for a free, fair and peaceful vote to take place.”

“The first round of the Maldivian presidential elections on September 7 was widely hailed as a success and represented a victory for the democratic process in Maldives. The Commonwealth, United Nations, and local Maldivian observers joined the United States in congratulating the Maldivian people and the Election Commission for this successful process,” said Deputy Spokesperson for the US State Department Marie Harf.

“We encourage all parties and all presidential candidates to respect the results and work together for a peaceful transition for the benefit of the Maldivian people,” she added.


7 thoughts on “International opinion “firmly behind” second round as scheduled: Commonwealth Special Envoy”

  1. Statement released by US State Department regarding Second Round of Elections

  2. Why diddn't Sir Donald talk about the democratic process when the coup took place? Why didn't he think in terms of democracy when the report came out. Don't trust him to do anything that requires taking a side or standing up for something. Just hot air.

  3. All you Common wealth Donalds and Dicks can be bought over. We proved it during the coni time. Bloody rogues living in countries that are in a recession. They would be very much willing to support us for a reasonable amount. Ha ha.

  4. Attention Sir Donald,
    Where the Hell were you when the very same crowd convinced you it was not a coup?? Would that hand over of power be approved in NZ???

    Perhaps now you are beginning to see the criminal corrupt nature and he dregs of the dictatorship that we have here in the Maldives.

    Do not drop the ball now Don, or we will turn back the clock 30 years to the evil dictatorship!!! You have turned a blind eye once, next, it will be full blown civil war if we can not have our say!!

  5. We don't take much notice of McKinnon. After all, he's the same man who turned a blind eye to the overthrow of a democratic government. The people have had their say. Never in the history a nation has the incumbent President suffered such a catastrophic defeat!

    Would the last loser turn off the lights as they leave; thanks.

  6. What we see before us is a reworking of dynamics. The party or rather the individuals who get elected this time around will be very much subservient to US/Commonwealth interests. Not altogether bad if we can manage to get something out of it.

    CONI was necessary. So was unseating Nasheed at the time. I feel MDP itself has accepted that fact by taking on board Shahid, Thasmeen, Dr. Munavvar and now potentially Qasim who all banded together to end an ailing government who at the time was resorting to state-sanctioned blackmail threats on the media etc. etc.

    We have now come full circle with a changed Nasheed given a new mandate to rule under the watchful eyes of key power players. This time Nasheed will be required to practice more pragmatism. He will also be required to from a government with several powerful individuals while maintaining his support base among idealists.

  7. @tsk tsk
    Has Nasheed changed? The larger number of votes he got will be interpreted as demand for doing more of the same. these players will be the ones that will have to practice pragmatism around nasheed, so that they don't end up detained by the military like the judge.


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