Ousted president and Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) presidential candidate Mohamed Nasheed has appealed to Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz and military generals to ensure run-off polls take place as scheduled on Saturday.
Four of seven Supreme Court judges signed an order on Monday ordering the Elections Commission (EC) to delay the second round of elections, in an ongoing case filed by the third-placed Jumhooree Party (JP) to annul the vote.
Nasheed emerged the front-runner with 45.45 percent of the vote (95,224 votes), followed by Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) candidate Abdulla Yameen who received 25.35 percent (53,099 votes).
Speaking to thousands on supporters at Raalhugandu in Male’ on Wednesday night, Nasheed condemned Faiz’s complicity in Justice Ali Hameed’s continued presence on the Supreme Court bench despite the leak of three sex videos which appear to show Hameed fornicating with three foreign women in a Colombo hotel room.
“In my opinion, it is the Chief Justice who must take responsibility for all that is happening now. Faiz. The Chief Justice should not have to hold court with lewd judges who have lost integrity. Our laws, holy Islamic principles and our norms do not allow for that. When I appointed him as the Chief Justice, I did not believe he would do such wrong,” Nasheed said.
“The Chief Justice, with Ali Hameed there [at court], should not have to decide on 95,000 peoples, or even two million people’s votes. I call on the Chief Justice tonight, repeatedly, do not do this. With Ali Hameed there, do not decide the future of the Maldives,” he continued.
Nasheed then appealed to the military generals’ sense of decency, asking, “Where are the professional colonels and generals? Where is your shame? Where is your smallest amount of loyalty to the Maldivian citizens? Evil wins in this world when good people fail to take action,” he said.
“We will not see you as professional, as honorable, even with all of your medals if you let Maldives adrift. I implore General Nilam, and General Shamal to stop taking part in these shameful activities, to come out and save the Maldives. If you have any loyalty, an atom’s worth of love for your country, you soldiers, you judges will not allow our country to go down this path,” Nasheed said.
The Elections Commission has maintained JP’s allegations to be baseless, and even if proven true, would not affect the first round outcome. Further, holding an election after September 28 will be “logistically near-impossible,” Vice President Ahmed Fayaz has said.
The international community has also expressed alarm over the sudden suspension and stressed the importance of run-off polls to proceed as planned.