Following the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) win in Malé and Addu cities, former President Mohamed Nasheed has predicted an MDP majority in parliamentary elections scheduled for March and threatened to impeach President Abdulla Yameen.
MDP appears to have won all six of the local government seats in Addu City and eight of the 11 Malé City seats. Results for the remaining 1083 island and atoll council seats are rolling in.
Speaking at a press conference tonight, Nasheed predicted the MDP will win approximately 700 of the 1100 local government seats and said he believed the Maldivian citizens continued to hope for an MDP administration.
“The Maldivian citizens still want an MDP government, and for Maldives to be ruled according to MDP’s philosophy. I would like to tell the Maldivian public, do not be disheartened. God willing, without much delay, we will take over the government,” he said.
Nasheed had lost November’s controversial presidential elections narrowly, winning 48.61 percent of the vote (105,181) to Yameen’s 51.39 percent (111,203) – a difference of just 6,022 votes.
The 2013 presidential elections were marred with repeated and controversial delays after the Supreme Court annulled a widely commended first round of polls.
The apex court then imposed a 16-point electoral guidelines on the Elections Commission (EC), which critics say limit the independent commission’s authority to administer elections and allow political parties and candidates to veto elections.
Nasheed’s threat of impeachment comes after allegations of electoral fraud involving fake national identity cards in the presidential polls.
Elaborating further tonight, Nasheed said: “There are many ways to legally change a government. One of them is through the People’s Majlis. I believe the local council elections indicate the direction the People’s Majlis will go. I believe Maldivians want an MDP majority in the country, and an MDP government in the country.”
“The laws state two methods for changing a government. That is through an election or through a no confidence vote followed by an election. If the Maldivian citizens give us a majority in parliament, then we will be forced to take that no confidence vote,” he continued.
Earlier today, Nasheed said the non-existent voters had been added to the voter registry as part of “efforts to rig the election through the Supreme Court.”
The Supreme Court’s guideline included a clause ordering the EC to discard its voter registry and compile a new list based on the Home Ministry’s Department of National Registration’s (DNR) database.
Speaking to the media this afternoon, Nasheed said the DNR’s list contained hundreds of eligible voters without photos.
“We suspect very strongly that those without photos are non-existent people. However, they voted in the presidential election,” Nasheed said.
EC President Fuwad Thowfeek told parliament’s Independent Institutions Committee on Thursday (January 16) that the first list with ID card photos provided by the DNR was missing photos of more than 5,400 people.
However, the DNR provided photos of about 4,000 voters two weeks ago, Thowfeek told MPs, which left the final voter lists without the photos of 1,176 people.
Asked if photos could have been repeated in the DNR list, Thowfeek said the EC could not check and verify the information.