Supreme Court hears Jumhooree Party’s case requesting election annulment

The Supreme Court has held the first hearing of the case filed by the Jumhooree Party (JP) against the Elections Commission (EC), requesting the apex court annul the presidential election held earlier this month.

Following a third place finish in the poll, JP leader and resort tycoon Gasim Ibrahim announced his belief that he “should have finished the race in first place”, denouncing the results released by the EC.

During the first hearing the legal team of the JP, led by Gasim’s running mate and former Attorney General Dr Hassan Saeed, produced 13 reasons for the court to annul the elections. The party was also joined today by Attorney General Azima Shukoor and representatives of the second-placed Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), who criticised the EC in court.

Among the reasons given by Dr Saeed were: the inclusion of 669 deceased people in the voter registry, 102 repeated names, and the inclusion of 1,818 fake people whose national identity card numbers were not in Department of National Registration (DNR) database.

Dr Hassan also produced the names of voters allegedly omitted from the voter list, cases of double voting and of EC officials not using police assistance when transporting ballot boxes.

Prior to the hearing scheduled today (September 17), Dr Saeed told local media that in its petition filed at the Supreme Court, the JP would also request that the court order the security services to oversee the entire electoral process of a fresh presidential election.

The JP, in light of the evidence produced, requested the court declare the voter list and voter registry to have been compiled in contrast to the requirements of the law, and to therefore annul the presidential polls.

The party also requested that the court issue an injunction ordering the Elections Commission to stop work towards the scheduled run-off elections expected to happen on September 28.

EC response and High Court hearing

In response to the claims, Elections Commission’s lawyer and former Attorney General Husnu Al Suood claimed that JP’s evidence lacked any substance or basis, and questioned the authenticity of the documents produced to the court.

“The ultimate question we are facing here is, has the Jumhooree Party produced sufficient evidence which is enough to annul a presidential election?” Suood asked the seven-member panel of judges.

Suood – citing cases from other countries, including the famous 2000 US Supreme Court case Bush v. Al Gore regarding its presidential elections – contested that a constitutional void could follow any delay of the electoral process.

Attorney General Azima Shukoor – representing the state – told the court that the Attorney General’s Office had also found discrepancies in the voter registry, including underage people listed as eligible for voting, and the mixing up of voter information – including gender, address, and date of birth.

Although the Attorney General did not explicitly support annulment of the election, she too along with PPM and JP spoke against the commission’s arguments.

Azima requested that the Supreme Court order the Prosecutor General’s Office to take action against those found responsible for electoral fraud and other discrepancies.

Meanwhile, PPM lawyer Adam Zaneen unexpectedly also requested the court to annul the election based on the discrepancies highlighted by the JP.

The opposition, and poll-leading MDP, disputed the PPM’s argument, echoing Suood’s assertion that the JP had not produced substantial evidence – even that required to prove by balance of probabilities – to substantiate claims of electoral fraud.

The MDP also contended that annulling the election would undermine the rights of 95,000 voters who had backed the its candidate.

The Chief Justice concluded by saying that another hearing of the case would be held Wednesday (September 18), though he did not state a time.

Earlier in the week, the JP filed a similar lawsuit against the EC at the High Court, requesting the court order the EC to hand over the original voting lists placed at the ballot boxes during voting.

After a hearing today, the High Court  ordered the EC to facilitate, in such a way that will remove the complainant’s doubts, the viewing of the voters list at the commission for Gasim Ibrahim himself or “a sufficient number” of his representatives.

The High Court panel stated that the ruling was based on the fact that candidates contesting in elections have the right to ascertain that all matters relating to elections are conducted freely and fairly, in a transparent manner, while the EC has a legal obligation to ensure and demonstrate the same.

Outside the courtroom, the EC has meanwhile emphatically rejected the JP’s allegations of misconduct, pointing to unanimous praise for the first round’s registration, voting and counting processes by local and international election observers.


14 thoughts on “Supreme Court hears Jumhooree Party’s case requesting election annulment”

  1. They will stop at nothing to derail democracy. We are worse than an African rogue dictatorship. Is the world watching this hideous mess???

  2. Yes we are watching..

    Libel and slander laws need strengthening. Quite unfair what lies people can tell with no repercussions.

  3. @Ahmed on Wed, 18th Sep 2013 12:08 AM

    "They will stop at nothing to derail democracy. We are worse than an African rogue dictatorship. Is the world watching this hideous mess???"

    Don't worry. They can overthrow and elected government once by a coup. Derailing the will of the people ain't gonna happen and won't be tolerated. That would be the point of no-return for this country! There is no court supreme or not that can defy the will of the people.

  4. If what they want is a mass uprising like the Great War in 2003, then let them have it! The Maumoon gang will stop at nothing to reestablish their corrupt dynasty.

  5. Yes, the world is watching this unholy, hideous mess. However, with sea levels rising and Maldives sinking, there really is no need to do anything. The world will just wait and let the entire matter resolve itself. As one of my friends was used to say. "death solves all problems". Not true, but then . . .

  6. The world is surely watching, but because everythings happening there is done in name of God, everyone is scared to "touch" God.
    The world learned to don't interfere with the maldivians, on the simple basis of their bipolar attitude towards the foreigners:
    if they comment are bad
    if they stay silent are bad
    - Most probably, it will help if the maldivians would finally decide to keep God where He belongs (inside of their heart) and not dragging Him around on the dusty roads as a weapon against their own people.
    A decision like this has to be taken by each and every individual, no one else can help in a similar process.
    - More over, as long the country allow to disrespectful, unfit elements to seat into the Highest State Institutions, where can be a space to uphold the Law, according international standards?

  7. Parasites all of this lot, will ruin this entire country. Gasim has ruined his good name whatever was left of it, and Hassan Saeed and Azima Shukoor are failed politicians trying to get power through courts without citizens approval.

  8. Qasim must have been a very smart man to reach the levels he reached considering the fact that he landed in Endhirimaage as an errand boy. For some reason now he is acting very stupid. he allowed all those around him to manipulate him and now he is falling in the trap of Maumoon again. Maumoon and yameen shall pretend they are behind Qasim and would go for a reelection but actually work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the Judges in Supreme court who are Jangiya Nazims puppets will give a verdict against Qasim. Then they shall approach Qasim requesting him to put his weight and money behind them to defeat Anni.
    Beware Qasim, you are a threat to Yameen too. It is a matter of time that you would be cut down to size by Yameen. If Yameen becomes President he will not want to leave in 2018 and you will be too old to be President at 74.
    Use you brain Mr Qasim

  9. I have heard Jude Laing, on behalf of Yameen and Waheed, briefing diplomats in Colombo to accept an annulment of the first round of voting.

    He is a paid mercenary of Yameen and is not to be trusted.

  10. I am sure the world is watching and must be ready to act, as and when necessary!

    As already said, and seen, the people have spoken!
    The peoples have come out and shown that it is democracy that they want!

    Those who are contesting the election, should by now understand consequences of derailing the democratic will of a people who wants to forego events and move forward!

  11. We are worried the EC Officials collaborated in the Election Scam of 2013. Even if a rerun was not possible, Fraud Thoufeeg and his deputy including those who were involved in the scandal should be removed for the 2nd round to be fair.
    I believe the President Waheed promised a fair and transparent elections in Maldives. What has happened?

  12. @Anu on Wed, 18th Sep 2013 12:09 PM

    "I have heard Jude Laing, on behalf of Yameen and Waheed, briefing diplomats in Colombo to accept an annulment of the first round of voting."

    Matters nought to us. If the disgraced Supreme Court bench dare interfere with the electoral process, there shall be uprising in this country. You just cannot go against the will of 45% of the electorate, willy nilly.


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