MDP holds rally, EC meets to discuss election, PPM vows “there will be no voting tomorrow”

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) is holding a rally this afternoon in Male’ in a bid to galvanise supporters ahead of tomorrow’s constitutionally-scheduled yet judicially-contested run-off vote.

Whether that vote will happen appears in jeopardy after a tense stand-off last night between the Elections Commission – which said it intends to abide by the constitutional deadline for the poll – and the Supreme Court, which opened at midnight and ordered the police and military to forcibly halt all election preparations.

The Supreme Court order quotes Article 145 of the constitution giving it final authority on interpretation of the constitution, the law, “or any other matter dealt with by a court of law”, and Article 20, which orders the presidency, parliament, independent institutions, and security forces to obey Supreme Court decisions.

“Since it is stated clearly, it is illegal to disobey or challenge a Supreme Court order within the jurisdiction of the Maldives,” reads the order.

It calls for security forces to implement its order on Monday night (September 23) indefinitely suspending elections, and cites article 237 of the Constitution concerning the authority of the security services to “protect the nation’s sovereignty, maintain its territorial integrity defend the constitution and democratic institutions, maintain and enforce law and order, and render assistance in emergencies.”

The same article was cited by the Nasheed government ahead of its fateful arrest in early 2012 of Chief Judge of the Criminal Court, Abdulla Mohamed, that led to the party’s ousting from power on February 7, 2012 at the hands of mutinying police and military forces upset over what they claimed were “unconstitutional orders”.

The order followed Elections Commissioner (EC) President Fuwad Thowfeek’s declaration yesterday that the EC was preparing to hold elections as mandated by Article 111 of the constitution, requiring a run-off vote a maximum of 21 days after the first round.

Conflicting reports in the local press suggested the election had been cancelled, was continuing, that preparations were underway, or had stalled.

EC President Thowfeek told Minivan News on Friday morning that the Commission was meeting at 4:00pm today, and would be able to speak afterwards.

Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) vice presidential candidate and former Justice Minister under President Gayoom’s 30 year administration, Dr Mohamed Jameel, told Minivan News on Friday: “There will be no voting tomorrow”.

“There will be no voting tomorrow. It’s Nasheed’s madness that is going on, as he knows he cannot win an election free and fair,” Dr Jameel claimed, alleging that “[Nasheed] and the EC have colluded to rig the vote in the first round and that’s the reason why he now insists for voting without amending wrongs and fraud committed during the first round. There will be no voting tomorrow.”

The MDP meanwhile reportedly met this morning with international election observers present in the country, who unanimously praised the conduct and credibility of the first round round of polls.

Following the Supreme Court injunction last week the Maldives received strong support last from the UN, UK, US, EU, UN, Commonwealth, India, Australia and Canada for polls to go ahead as scheduled.

MDP Spokesperson MP Hamid Abdul Ghafoor told Minivan News the party would protest from 4:00-6:00pm today, in line with election regulation prohibiting campaigning after 6:30pm prior to an election day.

“This is daylight robbery of people’s right to vote. I am still wondering if this is really happening,” Ghafoor said. “Without polls we’re not sure what will happen – it will be anybody’s guess. The Supreme Court will have called off the constitution and we will be in a constitutional vacuum. It will be another coup. The situation will be up for grabs – it will be the Wild West.”

“This is the time for the international community to intervene. The Maldives was a model transition to democracy, and we have bent over backwards to ensure a peaceful transfer. However the past leadership has now opening come out and contravened the constitution,” he said.

“The judges on the Supreme Court bench belong to Gayoom- this is obvious. They are remnants of the dictatorship. They took over the Judicial Services Commission (judicial watchdog), and brought all the old judges into the new judiciary under the 2008 constitution,” Ghafoor said.

He noted MDP’s new parliament majority, and parliament’s resolution last week calling for elections to take place as scheduled.

Should the Maldives fail to hold an election,”It will represent a big failure globally. We are a precursor to the Arab Spring. We had a perfect and unprecedented peaceful transition in 2008. That should be enough justification for the world to put its foot down.”

Nasheed had promised peaceful protests, he said, adding that the party did not expect a repeat of the February 8 police crackdown that hospitalised dozens of demonstrators.

“We have already crossed most barriers. This is the edge. This is a coup and the bottom line has now gone right up to the judiciary,” Ghafoor said.

“We have reason to have faith in the international community,” he said, stating that the party appreciated India’s position on the election: “they have hit the nail on the head.”

Responding on Wednesday to the Supreme Court’s indefinite suspension of the election, India’s Minister of External Affairs Salman Khurshid said India was “deeply disappointed and distressed that this should have happened.”

“Our understanding of the democratic system is that even if there are imperfections in the election system, those imperfections need to be addressed in a manner which is not destructive of the very process of elections,” Khurshid stated.

“It won’t be fair of me to comment on a court judgement, it is an interim judgement. I don’t want to comment on the contents of the judgement but certainly on the implications of the interference with an election. There is a window of time available because they have a November date by which a President has to be installed and I would urge all countries that care for democracy and who have a special cause of Maldives at heart, I would urge them all to use their good offices to ensure that democracy is preserved.

“If this is being done in the name of democracy, it is unfortunate. I think this is something that undermines democracy,” Khurshid stated.

“I would certainly hope and expect that better wisdom will prevail in this matter.”


8 thoughts on “MDP holds rally, EC meets to discuss election, PPM vows “there will be no voting tomorrow””

  1. "Supreme Court, which opened at midnight and ordered the police and military to forcibly halt all election preparations."

    On 7th February 2012, the police and military forcibly ousted the then elected President. Now, the Supreme Farce is ordering the same militia to forcibly halt the long awaited chance for the people to democratically elect a new leader. You can conclude whatever you like from that.

    "I think this is something that undermines democracy,” Khurshid stated. Coming from a top diplomat, that's as close as you can to "this is complete f**k up".

  2. Here are some technical reasons why JP's case is total horse sh*t. We won't even bother with PPM's, since they are just opportunistic vultures hoping for scraps of whatever they can get from this illegal wrangling.

    (1) JP claims Gasim should have won the first round. That means he needed over 40,000 additional votes.

    (2) JP is implying that over 40,000 votes were cast in favour of MDP illegally. This amounts to 25% of the vote! That's fraud on a world record scale. For the sake of argument, let's borrow the film "Ocean's 11" (i.e. the story therein) as a heist of world class.

    (3) Highly experienced international observers confirmed the free and fair running of the election. How could you possibly carry out an "Ocean's 11" scale election fraud in front of such a team?

    (4) The Department for National Registration's (DNR) director gave evidence that it's impossible to forge ID cards. Maldivian ID cards are effectively Universally Unique Identifiers; if you consider the Universe to be Maldives from some point in the past to the point where Maldives submerges beneath the waves at some point in the future (or gets sucked into the Sun's giant red corona as our star dies). There won't be a dead or living Maldivian with the same ID card number, never ever. Capisce?

    (5) If 40,000 people didn't cast their votes and some fraudsters did, then 40,000 IDs cards were either stolen or forged. That's a forgery again on the scale of "Ocean's 11".

    (6) Finally, a record of 200,000 people with Unique Identifiers (ID card numbers) can be verified within seconds even on my laptop.

    Except for a couple of "Justices" in the Supreme Farce, I wouldn't expect the rest of them to understand any of what I said above. After all, Ali Hameed supposedly got "educated" in Makkah. Evidently, he never learned anything about Islam (you wouldn't strip in front of prostitutes if you did). Did he learn anything else? I doubt very much.

    May Allah bless the Maldives.

  3. Look at the photo closely. Even in the fron line, you see 5 major thugs who plundered under Gayoom dictatorship. How can MDP accept these people in their front line and call themselves democrats..

    And how do they become saints when they join MDP..?

    Sure PPM has thusg too but they are not displayed as lavishly in the frontline

  4. Please send foreign troops, from UN or India here to secure election!!

    Election MUST BE held soon!!! please for the sake of Maldivian people here!!!

  5. Send foreign troops? In Syria there still aren't any foreign troops, so other countries will definitely not send troops for a much less severe conflict in an internationally completely unimportant country.

    Yes elections must be held, but the Maldivian people will have to make it happen themselves instead of looking to other countries for help. Don't expect more than diplomatic statements and a negative travel advice here and there.

  6. Senf foreign troops, why ? Get of your F'n asses an do something about it yourselves you F'n pussies. Seriously ! You out number the NSS by the thousands throw bricks set fire do whatever you have to do !!! Wake the fuck up, the world is not watching, wake up !!!

  7. My god when you finally do something other than prey 5 times a day maybe you will get some support from outside !!!

  8. It has been said at least by one leading political scientist that Saudi Arabia cannot stand any political reforms. If a reform movement reaches Saudi Arabia, people there will tear themselves to death.

    Muslims the world over have so far been unable to implement the rule of law, democracy and human rights. They are the most precious things in the modern world.

    Even in Egypt, so far this has been the case.

    Maldivians are educational, cultural and political nonentities compared to Egyptians.

    Gayoom did not prepare Maldivians for democracy.

    From being a one-man dictator show, Maldives is now a national theatre putting on a free for all wrestling match. In this match, even the referee and the spectators have joined the fighting. What a great show?

    The whole world is watching.This is a time when all the Maldivians have the right and duty to be proud as Maldivians. We are the best. We are the greatest. We are the democracy of all the democracies.

    We are on top of the world. We have character and dignity. The name of our beloved country is on the lips and tongues of all mankind.

    What a day? This is the day I have been waiting for all my life. Raise a toast to the very nation itself, and its most sweet, wonderful and gentle Supreme Court and the Armed Forces.


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