JP and PPM request Supreme Court order further delaying Saturday’s election

Both the Jumhooree Party (JP) and the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) have filed cases with the Supreme Court requesting that tomorrow’s re-scheduled election not go ahead without all parties having signed the register.

The request for a new court order comes after both parties have thus-far refused to sign the amended electoral register for tomorrow’s election.

PPM MP Ahmed Nihan denied that his party had attempted to delay polling, claiming that the party still wished to have an election as soon as possible.

He added that the motion filed did not request any specific timeline, claiming that the party was trying to find a way that voting could go ahead as planned – positing the possibility of a public holiday to facilitate voting should tomorrow’s poll not go ahead.

Speaking to Haveeru, JP Lawyer Mohamed Haleem said they filed for the court order because they believed the EC would proceed with elections without getting voter lists approved.

“We have asked the Supreme Court for an order to hold elections after abiding by all procedures laid out in Supreme Court guideline number five. The Supreme Court has accepted the case,” he said.

At a press conference earlier today, Gasim explained that his party had doubts over the accuracy of the voter register, and would need at least two days to check the new lists.

“If an election is held tomorrow in violation of the Supreme Court ruling, it is without doubt an unlawful election. We cannot give space for such an election. And how can we support such an election?” said Gasim.

Gasim urged the EC to request further instruction from the court, after commission members had expressed a lack of guidance when faced with party’s refusing to sign the register.

“EC has failed to respond to the numerous complaints and concerns we have raised with them,” said PPM Deputy Leader and MP Abdulla Abdul Raheem at a separate press briefing. “It is impossible to hold a free and fair election until the EC complies with the regulations ordered by the Supreme Court.”


A meeting between the EC, party representatives and the Home Ministry at 9:00pm this evening reportedly ended in a stalemate, according to local media, with the JP and PPM insisting on time to verify the voter registry.

Candidate Mohamed Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party, expressed its satisfaction with the new lists yesterday, noting a “neglibile” 0.61 percent margin of error. The frantic re-registration process saw over 71,000 forms submitted to the Elections Commission, after the Supreme Court opened at midnight on October 10 and ordered the commission to restart the procedure from scratch just days before the poll.

The revised voter registry is based on the Department of National Registration’s (DNR) registry and lists 239,198 eligible voters – 395 fewer than the 239,593 in the annulled September 7 polls that saw an 88 percent voter turnout.

Speaking to the press outside the EC this afternoon, Nasheed said an election by October 20 was “paramount” to the Supreme Court guidelines, and hence the EC must proceed with elections preparations and stand ready to hold elections as scheduled until the Supreme Court clarifies what the EC must do, or until the PPM and JP approve the list.

On October 7, Supreme Court annulled the first round of presidential elections held on September 7 after the third-placed JP filed a complaint alleging widespread electoral fraud, despite the polls being unanimously praised as free and fair by more than 1000 local and international elections observers.

The JP had narrowly placed third with 24.07 percent of the vote – only 2677 votes behind second placed PPM’s Yameen Abdul Gayoom. Front-runner Mohamed Nasheed received 45.45 percent of the vote.

The Supreme Court gave the EC a 12-day deadline to hold a re-vote, and delineated 16 guidelines which including compiling a new voter registry, a new re-registration process, and approval of the voter registry by all candidates contesting in the election.

PPM and JP representatives failed to turn up at the EC to approve the voter registry this morning. According to the EC, the JP had said the party would sign the registry when the commission presented a hard copy of the final voter list and verified five percent of over 70,000 re-registration forms.

International groups concerned by legal delays

Several foreign governments, including the US and UK, have meanwhile last week expressed concern about continued legal action being used to delay polls.

The US last week said it was “deeply concerned” about continued legal actions “that could further delay the Maldivian presidential election”.

“It is important that the [election] go forward unimpeded in a fair, inclusive and transparent way,” said Deputy Spokesperson for the US State Department, Marie Harf, in a statement. “The basis of any democracy is for citizens to choose their government, for political differences to be decided at the ballot box in an environment free of violence and for election results to be respected,” the statement read.

In a statement today the US Embassy in Colombo said the United States “is concerned that the re-organised first round of the Maldivian presidential election, set for October 19, may now be postponed.  Under the Constitution, a new President is required to be sworn in by November 11, 2013.  Further efforts to delay the electoral process could undermine the will of the people to choose their representative.”

“The Electoral Commission has made concerted efforts to comply with the Supreme Court’s requirements for a new first round, including the re-registration of thousands of voters.  Political leaders must come together to ensure that participatory democracy is not undermined and that free, fair, credible and inclusive elections can take place peacefully and in line with international standards,” the US stated.

The Indian government today said it was “deeply concerned” at the possibility of further delay.

“We call upon all political parties to show a spirit of understanding, cooperation and accommodation by supporting the efforts for holding elections as scheduled, including by accepting the voters’ register. Holding of free, fair and credible elections without further delay is essential for fulfilling the political aspirations of the people of Maldives,” the Indian government stated.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague last week called on presidential candidates in the Maldives to respect the democratic process “and create conditions for free, fair elections.”

“It is imperative that there are no further delays and the elections be free, fair and inclusive, and that international observers are invited,” the Foreign Secretary said.

“I note the Supreme Court’s annulment of the first round of Presidential election results in Maldives, despite the assessment by both international and domestic monitors that proceedings were transparent, fair and credible,” said Hague, in a statement.

Hague urged presidential candidate “to act in line with the interests of the people of Maldives”, and expressed hope “that the process will enable the President elect to be inaugurated by 11 November, in line with the constitutional framework.”


12 thoughts on “JP and PPM request Supreme Court order further delaying Saturday’s election”

  1. Jasim, rich traitor.A danger for national security.MNDF must watch closely on this insane.

  2. That is an admirable goal. Our democracy would be better off without elections anyway.

  3. Gasim is really foaming at his mouth and doesn't really know what he's on about.

    (1) Who has the responsibility for administering the elections? Is it the political parties, the Supreme Court or the Elections Commission?

    (2) If this ruling goes ahead, that would effectively relegate the EC to a secretarial role of a paper pushing body with the real authority over elections administration in the hands of political parties and the Supreme Court. That'd be illegal and very dangerous.

    (3) The Supreme Court ruled that DNR data should be the sole record for the purposes of the electoral register. Hence, DNR and EC have total and absolute responsibility for compiling and verifying that list.

    (4) The 4 people on the Supreme Court bench who gave the "guidelines" failed miserably in precisely specifying the rules of engagement. It should have been made explicitly clear that verification and correctness of the list is not the responsibility of any politician or party. There is an existing law and framework for that.

    (5) The purpose of political parties signing the registry was to ensure there was a single list. The purpose was NOT for the political parties themselves to act as compilers and verifiers of the electoral register. That's the job of the Elections Commission! The politicians are trying to hijack the legal duties of the EC!

    (6) Following from (5), the "signature" by politicians was to act as "witness" to the list produced by the EC (and DNR by association) and to ensure that the sole list used throughout the country was a single one. There Can Be Only One in the parlance of The Highlander.

  4. #Ahmed Bin Addu Bin Suvadheeb

    Excellent and erudite analysis as usual.

    The JP, PPM, Waheed and the SC *know* all this. They are merely trying to buy time until Nasheed can be removed (by any means). They know if they go to the polls they will lose. Every attempt they make to delay the inevitable increases the hostility and the allegiances of the people and of other parties to MDP. This then makes them do even more desperate measures.

    I suspect the SC is finding their own position a little delicate now. I would not be surprised to see them reduce or even cease any further accommodation to the PPM. They will have to answer for all this sooner or later. They can probably sense the inevitable especially as the President himself is fence sitting and hedging in his support.

    Some commentators here seem to put too much faith in the International community.
    I would not put too much faith in International help. The UN, Britain and USA sanctioned the coup in 2012 so they hardly have any moral high ground for demanding 'democracy'. I suspect they saw Nasheed as perhaps a bit of a loose cannon maybe? Who knows, whatever the reason, it was a bad call.
    Its likely no actual intervention would take place unless it was asked for in the face of Fundamentalist insurgence.

    The perpetrators of all this autocracy know that the geography of the Maldives and with a sizeable portion of the total population living on atolls its hard to gain a massive public protest en masse.

    It a bad day for Maldivian Democracy.

  5. This quarrel will continue until someone make sit abundantly clear that no political party should have any involvement in determining who is an eligible elector and whether or not the Elections Commission has prepared a suitable list of electors. Maldives needs a clear set of rules to both establish who is an eligible elector and the roles and responsibilities of, including checks and balances on, the Elections Commission. Elections should be constitutionally mandated and not left to the whims and fancies of any court. Of course the 'fly in the ointment" is the influence of religion in Maldivian life.

  6. @Private Tourist, @bryam

    (1) The not-so-funny thing is there ARE clear rules and a legal framework for elections and for the Elections Commission. This was all recklessly disregarded when the Supreme Court annulled the first round and imposed some very arbitrary "guidelines".

    (2) The EC has already been conducting elections for the past 5 years under those very rules and existing legal framework. There has never been a single court case in those 5 years involving electoral issues. Who can forget the jubilations of PPM in winning all those by-elections?

    (3) I agree, we can totally forget about the "international community". They pay lip service to the word "democracy". We have to fight for our rights with our own blood. No one is going to help us as clearly evidenced numerous times.

    (4) And yes, @Private Tourist, you were proved right. The Supreme Court decided not to show their hands and very sneakily referred to the "guidelines". My hunch is that the SC knew they'd have plunged themselves into very dangerous territory if they got involved in this case. And the SC knows they're effectively being used as a "referee" in a game of mortal combat by the political parties!

    (5) The EC has done its job. One political party has already signed the papers. The other 2 have very little room for manoeuvre. There refusal to sign can be construed as contempt of court!

  7. They say that people get the leaders they deserve. Well once and for all this motley crew have confirmed that we Maldivians certainly don't deserve this incompetent, reckless, brutal and above all morally bankrupt bunch.

    We want some form of dignity democracy and its certainly not you guys - just face that fact. Nasheed is the only option left to us and a worthy one at that.

    If they remove him by means fair (haha) or foul (yep that's got their name on it) they have got their work cut out for them and they may as well start planning their long overdue exit options now. This thing may ebb and flow but it won't go away as easily as it might have all those 30 years ago.

    As for this Supreme Farce of a Court, would suggest the same. Wake up. They are indeed playing a very dangerous game. Autocracy to anarchy.. now that's a fine tipping point. Maldivians as a whole have been so patient in this struggle. We certainly deserve better than these clowns who make a mockery of the institutions that are there to protect the people.

    We simply just want to move on from aging dictators and their dynastic delusions. There's a real world out there and its coming to you and your (gilt-addled) brains.When you keep doing the same thing again and again -isn't that insanity? Re the latest cancellation, now do we spot a pattern?

  8. The President of the EC, Fuad Thoufeeq has admitted on live TV that EC's database is being hacked and several records have being altered and this process is on-going

    1. Why cant they use stronger firewalls to protect the servers.

    2. They should do an audit of the terminals in order to isolate the one used to hack into the database. Obviously one or more staff at the EC is involved.

    3. What the heck is the EC's database being made accessible online. Fuad Thoufeeq, please keep your servers OFFLINE if you are unable secure your database.

    4. So don't blame the political parties for not signing without proper verification of the voter list.


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