Supreme Court orders further election delay, reschedules for the 16th

The Maldives Supreme Court has ordered the Elections Commission (EC) and all state institutions to make arrangements for a presidential run-off election on November 16, rather than today as previously scheduled.

News of the latest court ruling came less than an hour after the EC had declared the official results of yesterday’s poll at 4:30am.

The EC also announced its intention to go ahead with the scheduled run-off, with polling times set between 11am and 7:00pm today (November 10).

“The decision made by the EC to hold the second round on the 10th deprives the people from fully obtaining the basic right stated in article 26 of the constitution,” read the Supreme Court ruling (Dhivehi).

The ruling appears to have been drafted prior to the EC press conference, however, as it states that the EC had not yet announced when the provisional results would be held, nor the times for polling.

“Thus the date previously set by Elections Commission (16 November 2013) to hold the second round of presidential elections 2013 is seen as the most appropriate date, [the Supreme Court rules by referring to article (144) of the constitution] that the second round of the presidential election to be held on 10 November 2013 must be postponed, and orders the Election Commission and other relevant state institutions to make arrangements for the second round of presidential elections to be held on 16 November 2013, Saturday.”

The ruling is not signed by any member of the Supreme Court bench, featuring only the court’s stamp.

The Supreme Court ruling suggested that the major reason for the EC’s decision to hold the run-off today was to avoid a supposed constitutional crisis created by the ending of the current president’s term at midnight tonight.

The court, however, argued that its prior ruling (2013/SC-C/42) had provided for this scenario, using the continuity of government principle to keep President Dr Mohamed Waheed in power for any interim period.

During yesterday’s polling, the Supreme Court also met to rule that this previous verdict – one that had annulled the first round of voting from September 7 – also overruled the Majlis’ motion to hand power to Speaker Abdulla Shahid on November 12.

EC Director General Mohamed Shakeel told Minivan News this morning that the ruling meant no polling stations were allowed to open, no materials to be transported, nor any other preparations to be made.

“It states that all institutions in the Maldives are ordered not to provide assistance to the Elections Commission,” he continued. “So then the police won’t help.”

“I just informed polling station officials abroad about the polling start times [at the various overseas locations] and had to call them right back and tell them to halt all preparations,” he lamented, stating that the EC was currently reviewing the order.

This morning’s ruling results from a case filed yesterday by Jumhooree Party’s (JP) Youth Wing leader Moosa Anwar, who argued that the short space between votes might result in the loss of the right to campaign before the next round.

During an EC press conference to announce the provisional results of yesterday’s poll, EC President Fuwad Thowfeek said the date had been agreed by the candidates themselves.

“We are working to have the second round tomorrow. We want to hold it tomorrow as it was agreed by the three candidates, and the president, and all the concerned authorities,” Thowfeek said.

Beyond his press conference Yameen had “not informed” the EC of his refusal to sign the lists, Thowfeek said.
While the PPM initially wanted to sign all the lists, he said they later sent a letter saying they wanted to sign only the changed lists.

Instead, preparations have been hampered by “lack of cooperation” from one candidate, Thowfeek said, which was called by “confusion” over issues involving signing the voters list.

“First we agreed, since it was one day [between the polling rounds], to take just the changed names to a separate list for the candidates to sign. But representatives requested revising the lists and to sign [the changed lists]. We did that but after signing for a while they stopped and asked to change it to the way before. So we said we were ready to do it the way they requested.”

The commission had not heard from the representatives after that, Thowfeek said.

He noted that the EC had agreed to the November 10 date upon request by the president, adding that a new date would mean restarting preparation and additional costs.

“We would face such difficulties so are trying to see if there is a way to go ahead [with the second round]. We hope we will find that path,” Thowfeek said.

“Serious risk of indefinite delay”: Nasheed

As yesterday’s results revealed a second round contest between Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) candidate Abdulla Yameen and Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), Yameen immediately announced that he would not be signing the required voting lists for the run-off.

“No, election is not going to happen tomorrow. Simple reason being that the Elections Commission is not prepared for that. Elections Commission does not have a list that has been pre-signed by the candidates. What they have is a fresh list. So a fresh list for us to review and sign, for verification we need at least 48 hours.”

Speaking to Minivan News yesterday evening, Nasheed warned that “if we don’t have elections tomorrow there is a serious risk of indefinite delay as now Waheed is asked to stay on by the Supreme Court. Our opponents know that they will lose in a fair fight.”

“In my view if the international community says that they will not recognise Waheed after November 11 then we will have elections. Then again it’s very difficult to see the international community doing the right thing. We are in this mess because they recognised a rebel government in February 2012,” he said.

Nasheed’s calls to the international community soon resulted in international calls to stick to the arranged election schedule.

The US state department said that delaying the second round beyond the current constitutional requirements “will create uncertainties that may destabilize Maldives.”

“It is unreasonable and unacceptable for parties to continue to demand changes to an agreed election date. Voters deserve a greater degree of predictability over something as serious as a presidential election.”

Similarly, the Commonwealth’s Special Envoy to the Maldives Sir Don McKinnon declared it to be “unreasonable and unacceptable” for parties to continue demanding changes to the agreed election date.

“Any further delays would create uncertainty for the voters, place extra demands on the Elections Commission and lower people’s confidence in the country’s democratic institutions,” he said.

A number of Maldives National Defence Force officer have been found to be circulating an appeal calling on their fellow soldiers not to obey “unlawful” orders issued by President Waheed or his political appointees, following the expiry of his presidential term at midnight on November 10.


14 thoughts on “Supreme Court orders further election delay, reschedules for the 16th”

  1. The grand oldman and his gang is doing all they can to stop people's choice.

  2. If I was Nasheed, I would tell Maldivians to piss off, move far away and never give the place a second thought.

  3. Words rarely will find room to penetrate eardrums of dictators or authoritarian rulers. It is action that speak.
    This is a reality as old as the world itself.

    When hands spoke; Julius Caesar spoke no more than the famous words, "Et tu Brute" (Even you, Brutus)!

    It is only dire hope, that the MNDF will not make the same mistake they made on the 7th day of February 2012, and let democracy and the people of this country suffer more!

  4. to my Maldivian friends: the future is not bright, the future is not yellow. this plot of the ruling maldivian elite is so obvious, that it hurts the brain. keep the people in fear, and chaos and give them another week of chaos and at the end of all Yameen will come out from the second round with 52 % and Anni with 48 % thanks not to Quasims vote going in favour of Yameen but because of plain rigging of the votes. Annis inability to see and counter this and believe in the democratic process is another topic. Don't forget there is everything to win for the thugs, and everything to loose. The future is bloody red for the Maldives or black with slavery 18th century style.

  5. Wow, how much corrupt can the courts and army be?!?! Seriously, Nasheed should pack his bags and move over to any developed country and lead a peaceful life rather than try to reform a rotten to core system. He can't succeed in Maldives, he must understand. Sorry to say Maldives, but you lost the last chance to get back democracy (if you ever wanted it at all).

  6. Ha! isn't there a single person in Maldives who can see what your so called supreme court is trying to do?

    Dear Maldivian friends, never ever even think of electing the likes of quasim or yameen in your parliament again. Kick out the pimps in your supreme court once and for all.

    Take control of your lives. You have a rare chance now. You have a chance to vote.

    You can vote yourself to eternal slavery and misery, or you can become free men and women who control your own lives.

  7. If Waheed decides to stay on as President after Nov. 11th, it would be the MNDF's duty to forcibly remove him. Upholding the Constitution in accordance with their oath would mean exactly this. It would be fun too to watch this happen.

  8. Oh Waheed Oh Waheed, what thou have become? A puppet used by the grand old fox to harm an entire nation with impunity and you dangle at the end of a noose like a rabbit for the whole world to hate. Think O Waheed think. You have children and all the curses of the nation on you and your children for generations. At least now crop up the courage and leave. Atleast you will have some honour left

  9. In all fairness, it's unreasonable to ask to hold the second round in 10 hours after the first

    Also the EC itself did not Shedule round to Sunday with certainty. They just said may be till few hours before morning

    What's wrong with the 16 th deadline anyway

  10. Dear Anni,

    Please grow some balls. We don't care if you were "Childhood friends" with Gasim or not. Grow some balls and call them out on their BS.

    This is getting preposterous.

  11. @Jaggered on Sun, 10th Nov 2013 11:58 AM

    "In all fairness, it’s unreasonable to ask to hold the second round in 10 hours after the first"

    That's not the point. The point is that they all AGREED to this date before! Yameen, got cold feet at the very last second and decided to put a stop to things using his proxy, the Supreme Court. Moreover Yameen's excuse is the most feeble and atrocious that it can be.

    I don't believe there's any point in MDP contesting in an election in this country under the circumstances. Unless the regime is brought to its knees by the international community, and the Supreme Court's illegal and illegitimate actions are stopped, MDP should boycott any election. Waheed cannot remain in power even if he wanted to. The country is running out of hard currency. Just a slight bit of action by international friends will severely hurt the thugs in power and want to get into power by subversion.

  12. There is no Democracy in Maldives. It was agreed by all political parties to hold the run off election on Sunday 10th. Then came the cry baby Yamin and complained to the Night Club (SC of Maldives) that he is not capable or has the guts to stand a run off. ( well Yamin piss your pants like your bro Gay Yoom does? Fact is your brother won because there were no other contestants ) Shame on yourself a self declared economist expert. I can tell you you know shit about economics, let alone running a country (a fucking Hitler pose at your last campaign). You are a disgrace and a poor human being. If you are genuinely interested in the the well being of your fellow country men you would not engage in such erratic and self centered behaviour. You are a fucking loser.

  13. Incompetent, idiotic, selfish, stupid, reckless and above all ruthless - this is what we are seeing with this latest of many "delays". Honestly, are these the qualities the majority of Maldivians want in a leader?A leader is supposed to represent his people. If they choose this kind of leader, then it means they share those qualities and they will have to live with the consequences of those actions.

    This is a golden (yellow?) opportunity for our people to finally take on some responsibility for their own destinies along with the liberty and empowerment that brings.Or they can think pink and look backwards with rose tinted spectacles at a time when all was fine if one abdicated one's moral responsibility to one's fellow human beings and in doing so faced moral bankruptcy. The choice is clear at last and it is ours to make - if we are allowed to exercise that choice freely and fairly.

    Boy oh boy this push pull is much like a painful birth with a very incompetent midwife barging in at every point and putting everyone involved in danger. Its as venal and primeval as that - but in the end the crude reality that is biology will win out, sooner or later.

    Combine an increasingly youthful, innately intelligent and curious population that is coming of age, with the adaptability needed to survive and the skills needed to harness this age of information: that is the future we are looking at, that is the profile of the electorate of the very near future.How many generations will need to be ruined in an attempt to avoid that biological reality, one that represents life's impulse itself?

    This is the generation gap playing itself out, way beyond the political manoeuverings and manipulation of petty human beings (well, at least one) who think they can control the uncontrollable.

    Let them keep using the old tactics - sooner rather than later they will pass their sell by date. In this new age of information there is only so much brainwashing you can do. Adapt or face extinction.

    The rest of us - keep persevering and never, ever lose the vision of the other, true Maldives that is coming to you, sooner or later. To lose that vision is to become the loser. Within a minus there is always a plus. Find it and keep going. The Maldives, mainly young, proud and vibrant is ready for the (re) birth of its democracy. Its a question of short term self-interest or collective long term national interest. The choice is that clear and simple. Time to push on, exercise it - and unite.


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