Following a full week of hearings into the Jumhooree Party’s election complaints, the High Court granted the party’s request to view the offending register – under supervision- though the party is still seeking greater access in order to prove its claims regarding fraudulent voters. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court accepted to hear the JP’s case seeking to annul the first round altogether.
After hearing the claims of former Attorney General – and vice-presidential candidate – Dr Hassan Saeed, which included deceased, repeated, and fake voters, the court ordered that the Elections Commission (EC) hand over the voter registry for inspection. Repeated calls to respect the outcome of the election from across the international community failed to impress Dr Saeed.
Maintaining that all allegations are without merit, the EC continued to prepare for the upcoming second round – scheduled for September 28 – officially announcing the first round results despite the JP’s attempts to delay.
The barrage of criticism, particularly from Gasim’s own Villa Television (VTV), led the EC to warn the Majlis that national security could be damaged by “unfounded claims of corruption”.
The national broadcasting commission began looking into VTV’s reporting of unsubstantiated content this week, whilst the police finished looking into the content of the EC’s rubbish, finding no incriminating documents.
Further protests against the EC have been promised by religious civil society groups. The conservative Jamiyathuh Salaf group singled out the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) for criticism in a nationally televised sermon that resulted in broadcasting commission being called before the Majlis once more.
The police appeared to have been drawn into the dispute as an alleged police intelligence document emerged on social media, alleging “some opportunity for fraud” and “illegal voting”. The report was quickly disowned by the police and condemned by the MDP, who also called the Majlis to reconvene tomorrow (September 22) in order to stop “undue influence of political parties in the judiciary”.
Elsewhere in the country, the police in Addu City searched a number of homes as part of their election security operation, whilst fears over black magic persisted in Guraidhoo – the local council refusing use of the school for polling.
President Dr Mohamed Waheed’s Gaumee Ittihad Party (GIP) followed its former coalition partner – the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) in choosing a candidate to back in the endangered run-off. Waheed’s party chose to support the Progressive Party of Maldives’ candidate in round two, whilst the DRP leaders were paraded before MDP supporters following last week’s decision to lend support to former President Mohamed Nasheed in the race – a decision that resulted in the sacking of DRP minister Ali Shareef.
Nasheed visited the house of JP leader Gasim on Thursday though the JP insisted no decisions on future alliances would be made before the courts have finished their work. When addressing a youth forum earlier in the week, Nasheed had expressed confidence that Maldivian democracy could withstand a handful of coups and rigged elections.
Disabled Maldivians demonstrated this week against the impending closure of the country’s only school catering to those with special needs, whilst the pervasiveness of politics was revealed as deaf interpreter Shaheez Abdulla gave an account of his recent stabbing.
Finally, details were revealed of the government’s cancellation payments to forensic accountants Grant Thornton as well as the circumstances of Swedish nationa Filip Eugen Petre’s flight from the country following his acquittal of charges relating to the deaths of a British couple in 2011.