Voice clip of MDP T-shirt negotiations leaked to local media

A voice clip of a conversation has between Special Envoy to the President Ibrahim Zaki and a person named Anandhu, purportedly in the UK, has been leaked to the local media, concerning negotiations for the delivery of T-Shirts for the Maldivian Democratic Party ahead of the Presidential election.

In the voice clip that first appeared on the website of local radio station SunFM, Zaki and Anandhu speak about payment for the T-shirts ahead of the 2008 presidential elections.

The General Elections Act article number 70 states that “products or money” given by foreigners shall not be used by a Presidential Candidate or any person on behalf of a Presidential Candidate, and article 70[a] states that ”Products or money given by foreigners, foreign parties or foreign administrations shall not be used.”

Zaki told Minivan News that he had provided ”many T-shirts” to the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).

”No foreign party has directly contributed the MDP, it all came to me and from the things I received I gave things that I felt like giving to MDP,” he said. ”The General Election Act prohibits political parties accepting offers from foreign parties.”

Elections Commissioner Fuad Thaufeeq did not respond to Minivan News at time of press, while Vice Commissioner’s phone was switched off.

Director General of the Elections Commission Mohamed Tholal said he was out of the country and was unable to comment.

The leaked conversation:

Anandhu: Yes, Zaki. On the 1st I will make the transfer. Now, I understand from you, from the email I got also, that I got to do it directly to Elements (?) Garment.

Zaki: Yes, because that makes things very easy for us. That means by wire transfer.

A: Ok, no problem. The rest, I mean you can count me. On the 1st it will be done by wire transfer, ok? And I will then send you an email on the 1st itself to say it’s done and chase it up with Elements Garments to make sure everything goes according to plan. But if I do it on the 1st, say we receive the funds on the 2nd, I mean, do you know the company very well? Does Mausoom know the company very well?

Z: Mausoom knows very well.

A: OK, tell Mausoom to tell then that the funds are coming. Prepare everything and as soon as they receive the funds they can just send it. Because what my fear is that by the time it comes to Male’ – I don’t know how long it will take.

Z: I think it will not take more than about five, six days.

A: Five, six days, ok. As of today, when do you envisage the date of the election will be? It will be around the 11th of September?

Z: Well, you know, the original contemplation of the government was to have the first round on the 20th of September and to have the second round on the 4th of October.

A: Then we have enough time. Because what my worry was, I didn’t want the t-shirts to get to you too late.

Z: Yeah, and in the meantime, an EU delegation came here a couple of days ago.

A: Yes, yes.

Z: And they met us and they said they’ve been talking to Gayoom also and talking to us. And they said their idea is that the 1st of September to the 30th is the month of Ramazan, the fasting month. So their suggestion is why don’t we have the first round on the 4th of October and the second round after two weeks.

A: It makes sense. I don’t know how you feel, but it makes sense. It gives you a bit more time to prepare.

Z: No, our reply was very simple. We cannot agree that the current regime can be extended more than the 11th of November.