Pronounced dead: ‘Deceased’ voters found to be alive

When Ahmed Naseem, 48, attempted to verify his information on the voter registry for the new presidential elections scheduled for November 9, he found he had been taken off the list.

The Supreme Court in its verdict annulling the first round of presidential election held on September 7 had deemed him dead and had counted his vote as fraudulent.

“I am saddened and quite fed up. I have been deprived of my right to vote,” Naseem told Minivan News. “Now I have to go to court to regain my identity.”

The Supreme Court annulled the September 7 vote, citing widespread electoral fraud despite unanimous international and domestic praise of a free and fair electoral process.

The apex court claims 5623 ineligible votes were cast – a number that could have altered the narrow margin between the second and third placed candidates.

These votes include votes allegedly cast by 18 dead people, 7 minors, 225 people without authentic identity cards, 773 people with discrepancies in their national identification numbers, 2830 people with discrepancies in their addresses, 952 people with discrepancies in their names, 7 people who did not exist, and 819 people whose national identification numbers were written down wrong by election officials at the time of voting.

Naseem said the Elections Commission had told him he will not be allowed to vote unless he obtains a court document confirming that he is in fact still alive.

“Now, I will not be able to use my identity card for anything,” he said.

Naseem’s wife, Mariyam Zubair, has written to the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz today informing the apex court that her husband is alive.

“The Supreme Court’s verdict no 2013/SC-C/42 has deemed me to be a widow by law,” the letter shared on Twitter said. “I request you to annul [the Supreme Court] decision that my husband is dead and remove my widowhood.”

Back from the dead

Speaking to Maldives Broadcasting Corporation’s Raajje Miadhu (Maldives Today) program, EC President Fuwad Thowfeek said the commission had discovered that at least four of the eighteen people deemed to be dead in the Supreme Court verdict were in fact alive.

In addition to Naseem, the EC had found that Mohamed Ahmed of Addu Atoll Maradhoo Island, Fathmath Didi of Addu Atoll Hithadhoo Island and Khadeeja Gasim of Laamu Atoll Fonadhoo Island were alive.

“Like this, many people who are alive and had voted have been deemed by the Supreme court as votes cast by dead people, and based on that, they have annulled the election,” Fuwad said.

The EC and the Human Rights Commission have criticized the evidence used by the Supreme Court to annul the vote.

In an interview on October 19, Fuwad suggested the Supreme Court was disenfranchising individuals by invalidating votes of those who had address or name mismatches between their identity cards and the voter registry.

“For example, a person called Mohamed Waheed Hassan, may have his name on ID card as Mohamed Waheed. When we gave him the right to vote, they counted it as a fraudulent vote. But the ID card number, address, date of birth and photo is the same … We know it is the same person, the date of birth is exact, the ID card number is the same, photo shows it is the right person,” said Fuwad.

“When we give these people the right to vote, [the Supreme Court] has said that is giving the right to vote to a person who doesn’t have the right to vote,” Fuwad said.

The HRCM, in a leaked report, conducted an analysis of the Supreme Court’s evidence, finding only 1033 of the 5623 votes could be considered irregular.

The commission said the EC may have given 952 individuals with differences in the spelling of their names the right to vote to ensure an eligible voter is not disenfranchised, especially in cases where all other information and picture on the identification documents match.

Further, the commission notes that the 2830 cases of address mismatch should only be counted as evidence if any individual has used the discrepancy to violate another person’s right to vote.

“We do not believe address mismatches can influence the result of this election as this is not constituency specific,” the report said.

Dissenting judges in the Supreme Court verdict said it is the High Court, not the Supreme Court who has jurisdiction over the case. Further, Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz and Justice Abdulla Areef only noted 473 cases of possible fraud.

A new presidential election has been set for November 9. The Supreme Court ordered the EC to discard its voter registry and compile a new one based on the Department of National Registration’s database.


20 thoughts on “Pronounced dead: ‘Deceased’ voters found to be alive”

  1. Post mortem needs to be done on all to be 100% sure if people are really alive or dead.

  2. Dr Frankenstein notices the body of Gayoom twitch and then slowly begin to sit up.... He screams in a shrill tone.
    "IT'S ALIVE! ..... IT'S ALIVE!"

  3. The only dead brains controlled by a remote control are the four corrupt judges sitting in tHe bench of the so called Supreme Court

  4. You see, we, Maldivians are unique in many ways.

    (1) We have a long history of our dead turning up at the polls. Have we forgotten how the dead used to love Gay and kept him going for 30 years?

    (2) We have the most comprehensive and unique democracy in the world, thanks to Gay. Just wait till we start exporting it to the rest of the world.

    (3) Our Supreme Court is yet another unique institution. Our 100% Islamic country doesn't even bat an eyelid when a man who made a habit of paying for s*x with prostitutes sits on the Supreme Court bench.

    Yes, we are unique in many ways. We are truly a model for the world.

  5. Bloody freaking drama. This could only happen in a banana republic like the Maldives.

  6. It sounded like a good fun story.,then comes Ahmed bin Suvadeeb with his chants

    And why are liberal preaching MDP worried about a judge in SC who practiced their values.. Should MDP be proud of the underwear judge

  7. @kambulo: please do not give banana republics a bad name by lumping them with Maldives. Really, there is nothing like Maldives anywhere; not even Pakistan.

  8. This current kerfuffle over dead people voting, suggests a plot line for yet another zombie movie, this one set in an idyllic island paradise.

    "Clutching their ID Cards in their cold decaying hands, the undead rise from their graves and shamble to the polling stations in an attempt to sway the election.

    Only a few brave and fearless zombie hunters, led by ex-Attorney General Azima Shakoor with support from the renowned philanthropist Qasim Ibrahim and man-of-the-people Abdulla Yameen stand in the way of this diabolical plot.

    Will the zombies succeed in breaking into the Supreme Court and eating the brains of the distinguished jurists?"

    I haven't worked out the ending yet or who to cast as the staunch defender of zombie-rights, Fuwad Thowfeek, though Arnold Schwarzenegger might be suitable.


  9. Wonder what Chief Justice Faiz will say about all this? Shouldn't the media question him before writing their report?

  10. Does not change the fact that MDP are the clear majourity party and should be in power.

  11. @ Andrew Robertson

    Dead people voting, Living people classed as dead, People with false Id’s, People cloning and voting in different locations, Phantom people living in permanent domiciles – these are SOME of the problems that the election commission has to deal with. In

    We might say that in The world these problems are faced and common place– Even in the super modern societies but the errors compared to the population is negligible; However that’s not the case in Maldives.

    Thus 5000 or more of these types of errors means little - in a population of 25,000,000(Sri Lanka) because it’s just 0.0002%. In a population of 313,000,000 (USA) its 0.000016% or in a population of 63,000,000 (UK) its 0.000079%.

    IN MALDIVES with around 200,000 total votes, IT’S a whopping 2.5% and this is enough to swing an election.

    Therefore In the interests of Democracy in the Maldives its vital that we get the electoral register right because given the geography of far flung islands and the number of ballot boxes - one or 2 names slipped in here or there can very well add up to enough irregularities that can give rise to LEGITIMATE DOUBTS re votes and accusations of electoral fraud. This is even more so when the EC’s impartiality; rightly or wrongly is put in question.

    Much has been made of how transparent free and fair the elections 2013 have been as attested to by THOUSANDS of local & foreign observers – amongst them transparency Maldives. One reads much of the total lack of any complaints at the booths as attested by the thousands of observers, and how this was put forward as a major proof of a fair election.

    I wonder if the thousands of observers, transparency Maldives included had EXAMINED AND had in fact VERIFIED the voters roll and satisfied themselves that the voters list of about 200,000 didn’t contain errors that could swing the election.

    The mere fact that in the OBSERVERS countries the electoral register was never put in question is not reason enough that the voters register in Maldives is above suspicion in Maldives.

    As a matter of fact, I’m informed that it’s only after the Supreme Court ruling cancelling the 1st round & imposing guidelines that the EC was forced to take the Department of National Registration DATABASE as the starting point of the electoral register. THIS IS REMARKABLE! Until then the EC based its electoral register on citizens input.

    A thousand Observers or not Maldives with its far flung islands with so many electoral boxes dispersed and about 35% of the population voting in domains different to their permanent registered addresses, and election officials so politically active and often open to offers of bribery - ALL of these offer a real chance for fraudsters to rig the vote.

    Why this extraordinary vulnerability to fraud of the voters register in Maldives was not EVER BROUGHT TO THE NOTICE of the nation by the EC, the many foreign consultants and local observers like the Transparency Maldives is a HUGE worry.

    That the International observers didn’t take note of the possibility of fraud is excusable – Because of Maldives unique demographics and Geography and them overlooking the problem in a little spec of a nation of 300,000 lost in the Indian Ocean; but it’s inexcusable for an organisation such as the transparency Maldives LOCAL BRANCH.

    This nation in my view owes a big Thanks to Mr Gassim for taking the case to the Supreme Court. We need to plug this side door for fraud for the sake of Democracy in the Maldives. On this we cannot count on the West who when it suits them can turn a blind eye to due process and rule of law.

    We need to clean our own house ourselves.

  12. hahaha good plot! We salute the fighters for democracy! No forces against the will of the people will ever survive long.

  13. @joker
    What s/he described is exactly what no body teaches in the PhD programs. Before people judge Maldives standard models, they should understand the peculiar problems arising out of smallness. So many foreign 'experts' and organizations fail in that respect

  14. Cos' they learnt from Bon Jovi to "Live while I'm ALIVE I'll VOTE when I AM DEAD!"

    Yeh stupid joke to match a stupid occurrence.

  15. Fingerprint him. I don't believe he is alive until someone fingerprints him.

    Hear ye, I am The Supreme.

  16. This calls for 3 cheers to them who did it!
    Hip hip hurrah! Hip hip hurrah! Hip hip hurrah!
    This is justice, and at its best!
    Welcome to new heights and new wonders!

  17. @ Ben plight

    Its obvious by now Ben, this country is in some sort of free fall towards disaster. There can be no doubt that MAG willingly or unwillingly introduced a surprisingly potentilally vibrant Democratic reforms with rudiment istitutions that should go with such reform.

    but it was not to be.

    the bribary of MP's, locking up of political opponents,confrontations with the judiciary and the security services has the Dem reforms on the high seas with the rise of storms.

    Allah has Guided you to His religion. He works in mysterious ways and for what ever it is worth your early life, education @ experience with Islamic scholarly writings offers a unique opportunity to help this struggling Muslim county - which by fate is the motherland of your own loved children.

    Please rise above the horrific experiences you faced in your earlier years. I trust you have the mettle and what it takes to help Maldives reach what dream for it - Islam blended in to Democracy. Indeed its a HUGE bit of work. May Allah fill your loved ones and all of us with pderfect Mercy and love.


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