Maldives’ Elections Commission calls on “all friends of democracy” for help conducting presidential poll as scheduled

The re-registration process for the presidential election first round – scheduled for November 9 – ends today at 10pm tonight (October 25).

Newly eligible voters and those who will be voting in a location other than their home island can collect forms from the Elections Commission Secretariat in Male’, from Island Council offices and online.

After re-registration is completed, the EC will receive rejected re-registration forms tomorrow (October 26). On the same day, the names of elections day officials will be sent to candidates for vetting as outlined in the SC guidelines.

“The Elections Commission of Maldives calls upon all friends of democracy to help us deliver a free, fair, transparent and inclusive presidential election as scheduled on 9 November 2013”, said a commission statement yesterday.

“So far over seventy million Maldivian Rufiyaa [US$ 4,566,240] has been spent on the unsuccessful attempts to hold the Presidential Election in the Maldives,” the Elections Commission (EC) stated in a press release issued Wednesday (October 23).

State-funded programs had to be halted in order to hold the October 19 re-vote, Minister of Finance and Treasury Abdulla Jihad has said previously.

This is the fourth time in two months the EC is preparing to hold a poll for the Maldives’ presidential election.

The September 7 first round poll received a unanimous positive assessment by more than a thousand local and international election observers, before Jumhooree Party (JP)’s leader, Gasim Ibrahim, who placed third in the poll refused to accept the results.

After agreeing to hear Gasim’s complaints, the Supreme Court then issued an injunction on September 23 to indefinitely delay the presidential election’s second round, before the police physically halted the EC’s ongoing preparations for the September 28 run-off.

The Supreme Court ultimately ruled to annul the first round – citing a secret police report which alleged electoral fraud, but was never presented to the EC’s lawyers – and delineated 16 guidelines to hold a revote by October 20.

With just 11 days to prepare for the next round of the presidential election – a process that usually requires a minimum of 45 days –  the Supreme Court issued subsequent rulings dictating managerial and administrative tasks the EC must undertake while preparing for the repeat first round.

The apex court’s guidelines also mandated police play a substantive role in handling the logistics and security of the election and ballot papers, as well as demanded that all parties sign the voter lists, effectively giving presidential candidates veto power.

The day before the scheduled October 19 election, candidates Abdulla Yameen and Gasim had still not signed the voter lists and were not responding to phone calls from the EC or officials sent to their homes. The pair subsequently demanded extensive fingerprint verification of the new voters’ registry – another stipulation of the Supreme Court midnight rulings.

The same evening both candidates sought a Supreme Court ruling demanding that the election be delayed.

Receiving only a brief instruction from the court to follow its guidelines, the EC prioritised the guideline requiring an election before Oct 20 and proceeded with the vote.

However, an hour before polls were due to open on October 19 police obstructed EC staff attempting to leave the commission’s office with ballot documents and equipment – later stating that police had decided not to provide cooperation to the EC as it had not followed the 16-point guidelines imposed by the court.

The Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) has since concluded that police illegally blocked the EC from conducting the re-vote of the presidential election on October 19 in contravention of the constitution, the Police Act, and the Elections Act.

Following the rescheduling of the election for November 9 – just two days before the end of the presidential term – Elections Commissioner Fuwad Thowfeek labelled the Supreme Court’s guidelines “restrictions” and expressed concern that they effectively allowed political parties to stop elections from happening.

The Elections Commission’s statement issued Thursday (October 24) recounts the presidential elections saga that has taken place over the last two months:

As mandated by the Constitution and Electoral Laws of the country, Elections Commission of the Maldives (ECM) held the first round of the presidential election 2013 on 7th September 2013. The conduction of the election was smooth and orderly without any serious cause for concern. National and international observers praised the election as free, fair, transparent and inclusive. In fact many international observers described the conduction of the election as one of the most peaceful and best they have observed. ECM was hailed for the way they have carried out such a smooth and peaceful election. One of the non-governmental organisations (NGO)’s stated that compilation of the voters’ list was excellent with a probable error rate lower than one percent. However one of the competing parties (Jumhooree Party) filed a case at the Supreme Court of Maldives to invalidate the election mostly arguing on the accuracy of the voters’ list. The Supreme Court after 22 days of deliberation found that the ECM had over five thousand (5000) fraudulent names on the voters’ list and annulled the result of the election. Since no candidate had achieved over 50 percent of the voters in the first round, ECM was on the verge of conducting the second round of the presidential election on 28th September 2013 when the Supreme Court ordered to annul the first round of the election. And as a consequence of annulment of the first round, the runoff was cancelled.

The main reason for the annulment of the election was based on discrepancies in the name or addresses of the voters. Nine hundred and fifty two (952) votes were invalidated due to slight differences in the name of the voters (some examples of discrepancies included Mariyam Sheran Mohamed Waheed Deen in the voters’ list as opposed to Mariyam Sheran Waheed Deen in the National Register and Ali Rila in the voters’ list was spelled as Ali Riza in the National Register etc.). Two thousand eight hundred and thirty (2830) votes were invalidated because the address in the voters’ list differed from their permanent addresses in the National Register even though their National Identity Card number and date of birth were the same and their National ID photo matched with the person who voted.

The Supreme Court ordered re-polling under a 16 point guideline set out by the Supreme Court and ordered that first round of the presidential election to be held before 20th October 2013 and should a runoff be required, to hold the second round before 3rd November 2013. One of the most contentious clauses in the guideline was clause number five which gives veto power to candidates to reject the voters’ list.

The first round of the presidential election was set to take place on 19th October 2013. After the lists were finalized candidates were given time to sign the final voters’ list. Mr Gasim Ibrahim (Jumhooree Party) and Mr Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom (Progressive Party of Maldives) refused to sign the voters’ list. The reason for refusal being that they were unable to verify the voters’ list. Mr Mohamed Nasheed (Maldivian Democratic Party) signed the voters’ list. Even though two candidates refused to sign the list, ECM was preparing to go ahead with the election as scheduled. However due to police action in the early hours of 19th October 2013 (polling day) ECM was prevented from conducting the election. The police refused to provide security to the ballot paper and also prevented election related materials being taken out of the ECM office making it impossible to hold the election.

ECM has now again rescheduled the first round of election to take place on 9th November 2013 and to hold the second round (if required) on 16th November 2013. ECM has requested assurances from President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik that this time, election should not be disrupted by security services and to facilitate the smooth conduction of the election.

So far over seventy million Maldivian Rufiyaa has been spent on the unsuccessful attempts to hold the presidential election in the Maldives. Elections Commission of Maldives calls upon all friends of democracy to help us deliver a free, fair, transparent and inclusive presidential election as scheduled on 9th November 2013. The runoff (if required) is scheduled to take place on 16th November 2013.


10 thoughts on “Maldives’ Elections Commission calls on “all friends of democracy” for help conducting presidential poll as scheduled”

  1. (1) The best thing friendly countries can do is tighten the noose around the regime. A few mild shocks at first:
    (a) Impose travel restrictions for regime officials into friendly countries.
    (b) Freeze off shore bank accounts of regime officials and its allies.

    (2) After those measures, the regime will certainly feel the heat. More hash action can follow if they don't follow into line.

    (3) I'll be amazed if an election goes ahead at all without substantial tightening of the noose around the regime. The Elections Commission is not only wasting money, but also wasting their time and effort for no good reason at all!

  2. #ahmed Bin Addu

    I think you and I know my friend, that the Maldives is truly doomed.
    The people in control are madmen, they will crush the people for a few dollars while the waters rise.

    The police follow the orders of their crooked chief of police. The military follow the orders of their crooked commander in chief. They and the judges all follow the orders of the ancient evil one Gayoom and his children and servants.

    The cowardly President, Waheed, leaves the country to escape criticism for failing to uphold democracy.

    The only outcome is one unimaginable and that must not happen but seems inevitable. Sooner or later Islamic extremists will infiltrate the capital. Suicide bombs outside courts, police stations and government offices.

    Islamic extremists operating in fast boats will cross the oceans from Africa and raid the resort islands and kill tourists. It will only need to happen once. That will be the end. The tourists will be gone forever.

    Even the Chinese will pull out.

    The Maldives will descend into poverty and starvation. The people will leave in droves to Sri Lanka and India or anywhere they can find a home, possibly many in boats, drowning in the process like what is happening today off the coast of Malta.

    The islamic extremists will be left and as the years pass they will have to take deeper breaths and to hold that breath as they kneel to pray as the Indian Ocean covers their heads when they touch the mat.

    Gayoom, PPM, JP and SC and Waheed are making this happen.

  3. @Private Tourist on Fri, 25th Oct 2013 11:12 PM

    "The police follow the orders of their crooked chief of police. The military follow the orders of their crooked commander in chief."

    Hi PT, I understand your pessimism. I'll do this in two parts as otherwise it'll be too long. I really want to address first those who are abusing Islam to get to power and control.

    (1) I saw the self proclaimed "Sheikh" Shaheem criticising the European Union for calling on the regime to get on with the polls. He claimed that the EU is anti-Islamic and is responsible for killing Muslims all over the world, not helping the Palestinians etc. I will address these.

    (2) Firstly, this claim as good as the anti-Semitic pamphlets published by Hassan Saeed and Jameel not too long ago.

    (3) Next, we have to remember that it was the EU that stopped the genocide of millions of Muslims in Bosnia at the hands of the Serbs. EU nationals gave their lives to save the lives of Muslims.

    (4) EU provides more aid to the Palestinians than anyone else in the world! If the powerful and rich gulf Arab countries were so fond of their brethren in Palestine, why don't they show that with not mere words but action? Saudi Arabia spends billions of dollars annually on buying the latest military gadgets like a rich kid that buys new toys.

    What good does that do? Even the F16s they get from the Americans are inferior versions to those supplied to the Israelis! Why not donate that money to the Palestinians?

    (5) Muslims from the world over are fleeing persecution from Muslim lands into the EU. Most recently, Syrians escaping the conflict have been mistreated so badly in Egypt that they had to flee into other countries including the EU.

    (6) Is there a Muslim living in the EU who is being persecuted for believing in his religion? Is there an EU state that discriminates them based on being a Sunni, a Shia, an Alawaite or something else? Can we say the same thing about ANY Muslim country?

    (7) EU nations at least have a pretty decent respect for human dignity, much less than can be said of any Muslim country in the world. Absolute monarchy disappeared from Europe a very long time ago. Is it Islamic for Saudi Arabia to be ruled by one family? Is it the Islamic way to choose a leader based on the family he was born into and nothing else?

    In summary, I wouldn't call the likes of Shaheem extremists or fundamentalists. Yes, these are very dangerous men, only interested in power and wealth and abusing Islam to get there.

  4. @Private Tourist on Fri, 25th Oct 2013 11:12 PM

    "Gayoom, PPM, JP and SC and Waheed are making this happen."

    They are trying, but they will eventually fail. We never thought that Gay Yoom would ever leave his golden toilets, but he had to.

    (1) Just today, Yameen claimed that Shahid should resign as Speaker of Majlis and that PPM MPs won't turn up to Majlis.

    (2) We have an interesting situation here. PPM is using it's jail free cards in the Supreme Court to harass everyone else including MPs. Now the MPs have decided to fight back.

    (3) If PPM doesn't want to attend Majlis that's their problem. No Muslim shall set foot inside the Supreme Court as long as Ali Hameed's filthy fornicating-with-prostitutes lard sits there!

    (4) Weakening the long arm of the Supreme Court in its current form is the best thing to do now. They have no legitimacy. Desperation will lead to further blunders.

    (5) The Supreme Court and the Police militia are the two tools that PPM or JP has got left. The more they use these two, the blunter they become and that's beginning to show now.

  5. Instead of referring to the Supreme Court in the above posts, I should refer to the 4 squatters of the Court as they are the strings being pulled from outside. One has got his pants down literally. The rest are in other precarious predicaments.

  6. Nero was fiddling his violin while Rome burnt. Mohamed Waheed the spineless puppet takes a holiday while Maldives is in deep crisis. We'll done Fili Waheed you are leading by example.

  7. I guess in this country EC and MDP is only acceptable ? what the f---?

    EC and Nasheed had rigged the votes ? This is 21st Century and rigging is not done by putting the hands on the ballot boxes and it is done using the technology and playing with the system.

    EC had allow thousands of dead to cast tiger votes ? How does dead people come and cast their votes ? If EC can explain this, my vote goes to Nasheed.

    MDP believes that Maldivian are only member of MDP and rest are monkeys ?

    But majority of our people do not want Nasheed and even MDP. Learn to digest this fact.

  8. Why doesn't the MDP refuse to sign the new list of voters, as the others did, and thus create an impasse?

  9. vote for the future of maldives... future of youth, future of your children.. not for the present tykoons who is becoming more and more richers and poors are becoming more and more for nasheed

  10. If as some folk on this site say the majority of Maldivians do not want Nasheed and that its the MDP that's rigging the vote, why do the rest seem so averse to holding another election, when everyone else including the Supreme court and the police seem to be doing their bidding? Who exactly is in charge? What explains the numbers of people out on the streets not only on Male if they are such a minority? If they could most Maldivians would stay and home and lead peaceful lives. They are out there, the women in particular, for the sake of the next generation. I guess we are going to see what true rigging is - if 25% turns into 50 plus %.. by some "miracle". Only a moron would sincerely believe that was representative of our reality by now . So just go ahead - vote and let Nasheed win, if that's what the majority want instead of pussyfooting all over the place, wasting money, time, energy and above all - taxing our patience! Lose with grace, face the consequences of your terrible actions and live with some authenticity, (if you know what that means).. then you can at least earn some of that self respect back instead of hiding behind what is actually fear. Face yourselves: bad as that looks its ok.


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