The Prosecutor General’s (PG) Office has today assured the Elections Commission (EC) that it will do all it can to ensure the constitution is upheld after receiving a complaint regarding the behaviour of the security forces.
The PG issued a statement acknowledging receiving the EC’s complaint that the security forces had ‘hijacked’ the EC the evening before the scheduled second round of the presidential election.
In a statement the PG’s office assured the EC that it would take any action necessary to carry out its responsibilities as stated in Article 233(j) and Act Number 9/2008 15(j) to uphold the constitution, laws and rights of the people.
On September 27 when police were surrounding the EC building, commission President Fuwad Thowfeek told Minivan News “We will not be able to hold elections without support from the police. The police will stop any election preparation activity.”
Thowfeek said the EC members had been met by two officers “to get our assurance the preparation activities have been stopped.”
Special Operations (SO) police surrounded the EC secretariat with orders from Police Commissioner Abdulla Riyaz to take over the building and ballot papers.
The police barricade followed a Supreme Court order calling on the security forces to prevent anyone from disobeying a previous injunction to delay the second round of presidential elections.
The injunction was issued after the the Jumhooree Party (JP) filed a case at the Supreme Court alleging that there were major issues with the voter registration and requesting to cancel the first round of the presidential election and to delay the second round.
On October 8, the Supreme Court annulled the first round of the election and ordered the elections commission to hold the first round again before 20 October.
The EC has announced the re-vote will take place on October 19, leaving voters less than 24 hours to re-register due to the upcoming Eid holidays.
EC member Ogaru Ibrahim Waheed has today resigned, reports local media, though the reasons for his departure are not yet known.
On the evening in question, the police cordoned off the area around the EC and ordered journalists at the scene to leave. One EC official told Minivan News, on condition of anonymity, that staff were not being allowed to enter the building.
The PG’s office said that the case alleged security forces had obstructed the legal duties of an independent commission established under the constitution. It stated that the office was now discussing the matter with the EC.
Shortly after its acknowledgement that conditions were not appropriate for a free and fair polls, the EC filed a report with the police following multiple death threats received by its staff.