The Maldives returned to the polls today, after weeks of delay and brinkmanship following the Supreme Court’s annulment of the initial first round held on September 7.
Today’s vote sees the Maldivian Democratic Party’s former President Mohamed Nasheed facing off against the Progressive Party of Maldives’ Abdulla Yameen, and the Jumhooree Party’s Gasim Ibrahim.
Nasheed had been set to face the Yameen (25.35 percent), half brother of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom in a run-off on September 28. However the vote was suspended by the Supreme Court after third-placed candidate, resort tycoon Gasim (24.07 percent), filed a case alleging vote rigging – despite unanimous positive assessments by more than 1000 local and international election observers.
Current President Dr Mohamed Waheed, whose name appeared on the ballot on September 7, has subsequently withdrawn his candidacy after receiving just five percent of the popular vote in the initial polling.
After the court had ordered the first round to be repeated on October 19, the vote was again delayed after both Gasim and Yameen refused to place their signatures – a provision mandated in the Supreme Court ruling – on the revised electoral register.
With the term of the current president due to end on Monday (November 11), a second round run-off – if no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote – will take place tomorrow.
This blog is no longer live: Minivan News will continue live updates for tomorrow’s scheduled run-off
MDP: 96,764 (46.93%)
PPM: 61,278 (29.72%)
JP: 48,131 (23.34%)
Total votes cast were 208,504 of which 2331 were deemed void, leaving a total of 206,173 valid votes out of 239,105 eligible voters.
3:25am – The US Department of State has released a statement urging the second round to take place immediately:
For democracy in Maldives to move forward, it is essential to build upon the successful November 9th election and immediately proceed with the required and previously agreed upon second round. U.S. and international observers viewed the peaceful and active voter participation as a clear indication of the Maldivians’ desire for a democratic transition. The positive result of November 9 yet again demonstrates the consistency and capacity of the Elections Commission to deliver a quality electoral process.
It is now imperative that the second round take place immediately and in line with Elections Commission directions in order to ensure the Maldivian people are led by an elected president of their choice.
To delay second round voting beyond the constitutional requirements for a new government by November 11 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. Changing the goalposts is unfair to Maldivian voters; we believe Maldivians deserve better.
2:55am – During a press conference, the Elections Commission said it was working towards holding the second round on November 10 as scheduled, but said a lack of cooperation from one candidate was holding up preparations.
“We are working to hold the second round tomorrow but the times may have to be changed. We want to hold it tomorrow as it was agreed by the three candidates and the president and all the concerned authorities,” said EC President Fuwad Thowfeek.
The PPM had agreed to sign the lists [for the run-off] but had not been heard of since, the EC said.
“We kept saying that November 16 would have been better for the run off, but the president and the candidates asked for the 10th. We agreed on the 10th at a meeting with the president and party representatives,” said Thowfeek.
The EC said doing the election preparations all over again would be costly, “so we are trying to find a way to hold the second round on the 10th.”
Ballot papers had already been printed and sent abroad, while the lists had also been sent overseas with the exception of two polling stations. Lists could be sent up until midday, the EC said.
The EC noted that a case was still going on at the Supreme Court. Asked about the financial losses as a result of a delay, the EC said officials sent abroad would have to return and new lists would have to be prepared. The estimated cost of the delay would be MVR 25 million (US$1.6 million), the EC estimated.
1.49am – Preliminary results on the Elections Commission’s website following the counting of the ballots show:
MDP: 96,747 (46.93%) +1.48% on Sept 7 (+1523 votes)
PPM: 61,295 (29.73%) +4.38% on Sept 7 (+8196 votes)
JP: 48,131 (23.34%) -0.73% on Sept 7 (-2291 votes)
Total votes cast were 208,504 of which 2331 were deemed void, leaving a total of 206,173 valid votes out of 239,105 eligible voters.
This equates to an 86 percent voter turnout – two percent less than the annulled September 7 poll – suggesting that early fears on Saturday about low voter turnout were misplaced and many people instead queued throughout the day rather than lining up to vote early.
The results correlate strongly with those of the annulled September 7 poll, which saw Nasheed receive 45.45 percent of the vote, Yameen 25.35 percent, Gasim 24.07 percent and incumbent President Mohamed Waheed 5.13 percent of the vote.
Waheed later withdrew from the polls, and his coalition partner the Dhivehi Rayithunge Party (DRP) defected to Nasheed’s MDP. However it seems that the vast majority of Waheed’s votes transferred to the Yameen’s PPM, taking him up to almost 30 percent in Saturday’s poll.
Minivan News observed that no two local media outlets who did their own counting appeared to have the same figures, or figures matching the EC’s results exactly.
1:30am – The Elections Commission press conference is due to begin shortly.
12:30am – Speaking to Minivan News, 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.
The Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Special Envoy, Sir Donald McKinnon, noted this evening that he was pleased that the 9 November Maldives presidential election was able to take place today in a calm and peaceful manner.
“All initial reports suggest that this was a good election, and I look forward to hearing the more definitive reports of domestic and international observers shortly. The Elections Commission should be commended for its consistency in delivering another well-managed and credible election.
“I commend all stakeholders for ensuring that the Maldivian people were able to have their say at the ballot box today in a seemingly free and fair manner.
“It is important now that the electoral process move forward swiftly to its conclusion, with the holding of the second round.
“It is unreasonable and unacceptable for parties to continue to demand changes to an agreed election date. Voters deserve better from their leaders and a greater degree of predictability over something as serious as a presidential election.
“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.
10:45pm – Yameen has held a press conference and indicated that he would not sign the voter registry for the run-off polls.
Yameen said, “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. So the list they have we are not sure whether that is the list they had for today’s voting.
“So until and unless we are able to ascertain that this is the same list, we are unable to sign that. So the Elections Commission is not prepared. What they are claiming is that they have the same list but unfortunately if it were the same list our signatures or our representatives’ signatures would have been on the list. But unfortunately these are fresh sheets. So we are not sure whether this is the same list we used for voting today. So primarily it is a shortcoming on the part of the Elections Commission. It’s nothing to do with PPM or any other party.”
Yameen said the election can take place “as soon as we are able to verify the list. We have asked for something like 48 hours, because we are talking in excess of about 240,000 people. So soon as the Elections [Commission] is able to provide us this timeframe we are prepared to go to an election. Hopefully any time within the range of November 13 to 15. Any time after November 13 we are happy.”
The PPM candidate claimed Gasim had expressed his support, along with his coalition partner the Adhaalath Party.
“Tomorrow we will sit down with Gasim. He has expressed support to us. Also the adhaalath party has expressed support, [Yameen’s running mate] Dr Jameel has been in contact with them.
10:21pm – Transparency Maldives will give its assessment of the election at 11pm tonight at a press conference, while the EC is also expected to announce the provisional results.
8:51pm – The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has said that the second round of the Presidential elections must be held, as scheduled, tomorrow, Sunday 10 November.
“Our opponents are, once again, trying to subvert democracy by refusing to sign the voter lists for tomorrow’s election,” said MDP Deputy Chairperson Ali Shiyam.
The MDP calls on the international community to do all they can to hold the second round of elections tomorrow to ensure an elected President is sworn in by the constitutional deadline.
“The international community must apply pressure – including targeted, punitive sanctions – on those individuals who seek to undermine Maldivian democracy.
8:02pm – Jumhooree Coalition Presidential Candidate Gasim Ibrahim’s spokesperson Ibrahim Khaleel has accused the Elections Commission (EC) of anti-campaigning against their candidate.
Khaleel is quoted in local media as stating that the EC has today infringed upon the electoral rights of candidates.
Khaleel stated that the EC, in a press conference held Saturday afternoon, had spoken about JP refusing to sign the voters’ list which is to be used in a second round of elections which, if necessary, are to be held on Sunday.
He then alleged that this statement by the EC would lead Gasim to lose support.
EC President Fuwad Thowfeek cited words of JP’s Deputy Leader Ibrahim Didi, who, according to Thowfeek had told him the party “had no objections with proceeding with elections, but [we] refuse to sign the voter lists”, and also had stated he would send in a letter saying the same.
Khaleel, however, denied that this way the party’s stand and claimed instead that it was the Deputy Leader’s personal opinion.
EC Member Ali Mohamed Manik had been asked a similar question at today’s press conference by Gasim-owned VMedia, whether the commission’s intention was to anti-campaign by talking about the matter.
“We will neither campaign nor anti-campaign for anyone. We have no interest whatsoever in electing any particular candidate. I don’t believe that we have infringed any candidates’ rights by truthfully and factually answering media queries about who has so far signed or not signed the register.”
“We have a window of less than 24 hours between the two rounds of voting, and so we must speak of the matter. If this is then interpreted as anti-campaigning, then the only choice left would be to stop providing information to the media completely, and that probably is not an acceptable option.”
7:33pm – Unofficial results from Haveeru, Raajje TV and MvDemocracy show Mohamed Nasheed leading with roughly 46 percent of the vote. Yameen Abdul Gayoom comes second with approximately 30 percent and Gasim Ibrahim is third with approximately 23 percent of the vote.
Unofficial voter turn out was lower than the annulled September 7 elections with all candidates gaining fewer votes today than they did on September 7.
Although Nasheed seems to have gained a percentage point more than he did in the annulled first, he seems to have gained less gross votes than he did in the annulled round. Yameen seems to have maintained a similar number of gross votes, while Gasim Ibrahim seems to have lost the most gross votes.
It appears Nasheed suffered the most due to the lower turn out. Yameen may have maintained his votes if his September 7 voters turned out to vote today, or if he gained votes from those who had previously voted for Gasim or Waheed. Otherwise, the results so far seem to thoroughly vindicated the credibility of the first round on September 7.
7:00pm – Irufushi resort, a resort whose management were alleged to have engaged in a campaign against MDP supporting staff following the results of the September 7 poll, has still seen 48.5 percent of votes received cast in favour of Nasheed according to EC figures.
Irufushi is owned by Ahmed ‘Sun Travel’ Shiyam, the leader of the Maldivian Development Alliance which is allied with the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM). PPM candidate Yameen has received 45 percent.
Meanwhile, the ballot box on Sun Island – reported as a resort where the wearing MDP party colours led to a wave of dismissals – has seen a landslide of votes for its owner Gasim Ibrahim, who has received 88 percent of votes cast according to the EC statistics.
6:29pm – According to results from MVDemocracy, Nasheed is leading with 46.58 percent (70,099 votes) while Yameen is placed in second with 29.98 percent (45,117 votes) and Gasim 23.43 percent (25,261 votes). According to the website, 380 ballot boxes have been counted while 95 remain uncounted. A total 150,477 votes have so far been counted.
6:26pm – Haveeru’s figures also appear to show Nasheed having taken the first of the overseas boxes. With 160 of 184 eligible votes counted in Singapore, Nasheed has received 98 of the ballots cast.
6:22pm – With 61 percent of registered voters having had their votes counted in Haa Alif Atoll, according to Haveeru, Nasheed leads in the country’s northernmost atoll. Haveeru’s counting reports 45.88 percent votes cast for Nasheed, 32.65 percent for Yameen, and 21.47 percent for Gasim. Haveeru notes that Nasheed gained the highest percentage in the atoll in the annulled round also, taking 44.48 percent on that occasion.
6:18pm – The Jumhooree Party’s Youth Wing Leader Moosa Anwar has submitted a letter to the Supreme Court, requesting that the second round of elections scheduled for Sunday be annulled.
Anwar said in his letter that if the second round of the Presidential election is scheduled for the next day itself, candidates are “being stripped of some electoral rights”, according to local media.
Among the “electoral rights” that he claimed may be lost, he pointed out that since there is a such a short window of time, candidates may not be able to campaign for the second round.
He further said that this may make it difficult for “whichever candidate who finishes third place to endorse the runner-up who makes it into the second round”.
Anwar also alleged that “many people have been deprived of their right to vote in the second round as the Elections Commission gave only a duration of three hours in which to re-register for it.
Earlier today, the Supreme Court has ruled that their verdict on annulling the September 7 election remains in effect, and hence the current President and his government will remain in power if a new government is not elected by November 11.
5:55pm – The official results on the Elections Commission’s website, representing 27.7 percent of eligible voters, so far place Nasheed in the lead with 42.1 percent of 65539 valid votes cast. Yameen follows with 33.89 percent, and Gasim trails behind with 24.11 percent of valid votes cast.
5:52pm – “Voting was very exciting and it’s important for the constitution in this situation,” said first time voter 18 year-old Mariyam. “Hopefully ‘ehburun’ (‘one round’).”
“Voting is important for the country and I think Anni will win in the first round,” said 23 year-old Abdulla Rasheed.
“I didn’t think today’s vote was going to happen. The Supreme Court will probably annul this round also if Anni wins first place,” said 28 year-old Nasheed.
“I’m excited to vote today, but not as much as on September 7 because of all the difficulties that have happened since then [with the obstructed September 28 and October 19],” said 25 year-old Mariyam.
“I have no idea what’s going to happen [if the election results will be upheld or annulled by the Supreme Court]. But I’m hoping for the best,” said 29 year-old Fathun. “It’s our right to vote, it’s a chance that we shouldn’t lose.”
“I had no idea if the vote was going to happen today. Last time I wanted to come vote, but the election was cancelled two times. This time I still feel bad [because of the security services and Supreme Court],” said 19 year-old Ahmed. “At the end of the day in the evening is when something will happen. During counting and calling [of results].”
5:02pm – The Supreme Court has ruled that their verdict annulling the September 7 elections remains in effect, and declared that the current President Mohamed Waheed and his government will remain in power if a new government is not elected by November 11.
The verdict – signed by four of the seven judges sitting on the Supreme Court bench – contradicts the parliamentary motion to appoint Speaker Abdulla Shahid as an interim President in the event that a new elected President cannot be sworn in by November 11.
According to local media, the order was signed by Judge Ali Hameed, Judge Ahmed Abdulla Didi, Abdulla Saeed and Abdulla Areef – the same four who annulled the September 7 polls based on a secret police report discredited by an expert UN review.
The verdict was issued in a case submitted by Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) lawyer Mohamed Waheed Ibrahim, seeking the court to declare illegal parliament’s motion to appoint the Speaker as the interim president.
4:22pm – The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has issued a statement “congratulating the people of the Maldives for peacefully and patiently voting in the new first round of presidential elections. The Maldivian people have, once again, shown their unrelenting commitment to democracy.”
“The MDP is pleased to note that today’s polls proceeded smoothly, without major incident. The elections were observed by over 2,000 party officials as well as local and international election monitors. The isolated complaints received by the MDP mainly related to the voter registry and predominantly involved issues such as spelling errors in the voters list compiled in accordance to the Supreme Court guideline. In most cases, Election Commission staff promptly resolved the issues and people were able to cast their vote,” the party stated.
“The MDP would like to extend its thanks to the Election Commission and their staff, who worked tirelessly under difficult circumstances to ensure today’s vote took place. The MDP would also like to thank the international community, Maldivian civil society groups and all independent election monitors, whose efforts have helped to uphold Maldivian democracy.”
The statement concluded by calling on “all political parties and State institutions to ensure that the will of the people is respected.”
3:30pm – Polls have officially closed, but those still waiting in line will be able to cast their ballots.
3:15pm – Transparency Maldives (TM) has issued a press release thanking its 400 plus observers and reporting no major incidents up to this point.
“The opening of the polls was smooth, and the administrative preparation and execution went well, for which the Elections Commission and all relevant stakeholders deserve credit.”
TM reported that 99 percent of polling stations were open by 8am, and two or more candidate/party observers were present at 94.6 percent of all polling stations.
“Observers concluded that the polling stations were set up to ensure a secret vote in the vast majority of cases (97.5%). This was less clear in about 2.5% of all cases observed. These polling stations will be closely watched.”
“We encourage all parties to maintain a climate of peace. Our observers are working hard at polling stations and will be present at the polling stations till closing.”
2:45pm – Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) officers have circulated 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.
The five-page document, signed by 73 officers including many mid-ranking officers, is titled “An appeal to soldiers to maintain their oath to be professional and apolitical.”
2:10pm – “We have no interest whatsoever in electing any particular candidate. I don’t believe that we have infringed any candidate’s rights by truthfully and factually answering media queries about who has so far signed and not signed the register,” said Thowfeek.
2:00pm – Initially, neither the PPM nor the JP turned up to sign the lists, and the JP has still not arrived to do so, revealed the EC.
JP Chairman Dr Ibrahim Didi told Minivan News earlier today that his party had no objection to holding the elections, but that it would not sign the lists. He said that the party would send a letter informing the EC of such, though the EC has not yet received any correspondence.
After signing some lists earlier today, the PPM left for a break before sending a letter stating that they would only sign lists with changes.
“It looks as if they are not so keen on fulfilling their duties and responsibilities. Signing these lists is a duty given to candidates & their reps by the SC,” said Thowfeek.
“Although ‘guideline’ does not literally translate to mean something obligatory, it is how all stakeholders interpret the Supreme Court guidelines.”
Thowfeek went on to say that the biggest number of complaints received had been regarding campaigning after the 6pm cut-off yesterday.
“The biggest complaint regarding campaigning/anti campaigning after 6 yesterday was about a sermon being shown on about 4 channels,” he added.
1:55pm – When asked about the reported complaints from the PPM regarding the potential use of lists different to those signed by the parties, Elections Commission member Ali Mohamed Manik said no such complaints had been received.
“We haven’t received any such complaints. There is absolutely no chance of that happening anyway. The thing is, different party representatives approached the signing in different manners. While some reps signed every single page of the lists, others signed the back of the last sheet of the full list for each box.”
1:50pm – “We’ve also asked Cabinet Minister Nazeer to convey our message to the president”
“We’ve been speaking to Nazim since 2am last night. However we haven’t yet found a way forward, the matter hasn’t been resolved so far.”
“Our initial plan was to have candidates sign only the lists that would have changes, but on the request of some candidates we have arranged for all the complete lists to be ready for signing.”
1:45pm – “We are ready and so are the police and MNDF,” continued Thowfeek.
“We have spoken about this to the candidates themselves and the defence minister Nazim who is the government’s election focal point.”
1:40pm – “As per SC regulations all candidates need to sign voter registry. We are very fortunate that all candidates have signed lists for the first round being held today,” said Thowfeek.
He went on to say that the JP had not signed any of the lists for tomorrow’s poll, whilst the PPM had signed some. The MDP, meanwhile, has said it is happy to sign the lists.
1:35pm – Commissioner Fuwad Thowfeek speaking at an Elections Commission press conference in the last hour:
“If there has to be a second round, it is to be held tomorrow. However, we are facing some obstacles.”
1:30pm – After casting his vote earlier today, President Waheed told Minivan News that he felt he had left a good democratic legacy, and hoped the transfer of power would be a smooth one.
“This vote is very important because the Maldivian people want to elect a new leader and they’ve been waiting for this for some time now. I hope this is all going to go well and soon we will have an elected president.”
1:10pm – A twitter hashtag #dearmaldives has been collecting messages of support for the election from around the world, with dozens of people from countries ranging from Cyprus to the Congo wishing good luck to the democratic process.
I regret that I have had to remain abroad with a family member who is unwell. -M
— Maumoon Abdul Gayoom (@maumoonagayoom) November 9, 2013
A relative of mine not able to vote this time because the list from DNR has the wrong address! Now in complaints bureau.#unreliableDNRlist
— Mohamed Muizzu (@MMuizzu) November 9, 2013
11:55am – Elections Commissioner Fuwad Thowfeek casts his vote.
11:45am – Faphun, 29, queuing to vote with her younger sister Shafega, 10, said she was hoping for the best after previous delays.
“It’s our right to vote – it’s a chance we shouldn’t lose.”
Numbers in lines are growing steadily after a low early turnout.
Meanwhile, Shafega said that she was very excited and wished she could vote today.
11:25am – The MDP complaints team said they have received complaints of some voters unable to vote because of minor spelling differences between ID card and voter registry. Most voters have been able to resolve issues and vote after calling the EC complaints bureau, MDP’s Nooshin Waheed said.
MDP is now filing one complaint regarding a man who was unable to vote because of minor difference in address.
11:11am – A group of people went up to the fifth floor of Elections Commission and created disruptions. Police advised them and sent them away.
11:00am – Police have taken the required ballot papers to Dhaal Atoll Bandidhoo Island. The ballot papers sent there originally were less than required.
10:55am – MDP candidate Nasheed expresses his confidence after voting at CHSE.
10:40am – Maldives High Commissioner to Singapore, Mauroof Khaleel confirmed to Minivan News that former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom is in Singapore at the moment. Gayoom is registered to vote in Male’ according to the Elections Commission 1414 service. Khaleel said he does not know if Gayoom intends to go to Male today.
10:30am – Sacko, 24, explained why there were relatively few voters in today’s lines compared with the September 7 vote:
“People are fed-up with the nonsense, so not so many are out this time.”
He did, however, believe today’s vote to be important: “We are all one – the elections are important today.”
10:20am – PPM candidate Yameen doubts the MDP can achieve a first round victory.
“I don’t believe that will happen. I don’t believe that at all. Because there were lots of problems in the first round and it is not a correct vote.”
Aske if he would accept election results whilst having issues with the voter registry, he called for these polling booths to be closed immediately.
“No, no election will not end with these issues. It has to stop now. They have to remove that list. Polls cannot proceed at that box now. This the law now. If there is any list at any ballot boxes without candidate’s signatures, they have to stop immediately.”
“The election cannot be finished with those issues. The election can only proceed when those issues are addressed.”
10:20am – PPM candidate Abdulla Yameen spoke with the press after casting his vote. Asked whether he was happy with the voting process, he replied: “No. We are receiving complaints that in some places, lists we did not sign are being used.”
“We are looking into it and submitting it to the Elections [Commission]. But EC is not being responsive. So I am not happy.”
Yameen said lists he did not sign are being used in more areas than one. Asked about his plans should he not win in one round, he said: “If I don’t win in the first round and go to a second round? Allah will not will that.”
10:15am – More twitter users saying officials obstructing people wearing yellow from voting.
No campaigning is allowed on polling day. Voters can wear any colour, so long as it does not have campaign messages.
10:10am – Fathimath Irene, 28, voting at Aminya School – T08 1.2 – said that after waiting in line for an hour, she was told by EC officials she could not enter the polling station because she was wearing a yellow shirt.
She was told to leave, but pointed to other voters wearing pink and red. People at the polling station told her not to leave, should be able to vote no matter which color.
After officials called someone, Irene was finally allowed to vote.
“I was very embarrassed when they told me I could not vote and tried to send me away with all of those people there. But I’m feeling good now that I was able to vote.”
10:00am – According to police, voting at Majeedhiyya School ST 2 box was suspended for a bit because someone who was assisting an old person voted instead of them, but voting has resumed now.
9:55am – 53 year-old Fathimath Didi, who was lined up to vote at the Aminiya School polling booth, said “I’m not completely sure this vote will go any better with Fuwad in the Elections Commission. If he doesn’t tamper with our votes, we can make sure ‘Ladhini’ (irreligious) Nasheed doesn’t go into the second round.”
Ahmed Ali, a 35 year-old voter standing behind Didi, retorted, “You just don’t appreciate even the sincerest efforts by the Elections Commission, do you? With a free vote, insha Allah we will take back our country in a single round.
9:50am – “I think this time voting will go smoothly. I just hope the Supreme Court doesn’t interfere again tonight,” said 63 year old Ameena Ali, who voted at the Centre for Higher Secondary Education in Male.
“Poor [Elections Commissioner] Fuwad Thowfeek was hospitalised due to this pressure. It is mainly his perservenece that has brought us here. It is now up to us to win back democracy in one round,” said 65 year-old Fathimath Shaheedha.
9:40am – Social media continues to circulate pictures of people guarding cemeteries, in reference to the police intelligence report – recently discredited by UN experts – alleging deceased voters had taken part in the September 7 poll.
The report was the primary factor in the Supreme Court’s decision to annul the poll.
9:30am – Voter turnout is widely reported to have been lower than expected so far.
9:20am – Police said on website they have detained someone who showed their ballot paper after marking vote and someone who took a picture of their ballot paper in the polling station set up at the Center for Holy Quran.
9:10am – Police queuing to vote in Addu City.
9:05am – Local news outlet CNM has reported a disagreement in Kaafy Aoll, Villingili Island, between the police and EC officials.
Police were allegedly standing too close to the ballot box, less than 100 ft away, EC officials asked them to stay further away, police refused saying they were acting on orders. But after calling their seniors, police left.
8:50am – Dhiraagu and Haveeru together have introduced a service to check results via text message. Haveeru volunteers will be updating website with results throughout the day.
Text “result” to 2013 and you will get total update (not the official result).
To check result of a particular atoll, text letter of atoll (eg S for Addu atoll) to 2013 you will get results of that atoll.
To check result of ballot box, text the EC code for ballot box to 2013 and you will get results for that box.
Every SMS is charged MVR2.
8:40am – New ballot, minus incumbent President Dr Mohamed Waheed (picture by @tenUNTIT)
8:30am – Mariyam, 25, was extremely excited about having just cast her vote: “I’m hopeful that this vote will be upheld.”
8:20am – Abdulla Rasheed, 23, thinks Nasheed will win in the first round: “I’m excited to vote because it is important for the country.”
8:15am – Shaffan, aged 23, queuing up to vote: “We have been waiting for this for ages – we’re really happy to vote. Although there were difficult circumstances before, we’re still hopeful.”
8:05am – Tweets from Haa Alif Dhihdoo reveal that youth are watching over cemetery to ensure that no deceased people are able to vote in this round.
8:00am – Polling begins in Malaysia.
7:40am – Voters report that no bags or mobile phones are allowed in the queues or the polling booths.
7:35am – According to the Police, ballot papers sent to Dhaa Atoll Bandidhoo were less than the number of voters registered there. Elections Commission is now sending more ballot papers.
7:30am – Jumhooree Party candidate Gasim Ibrahim has cast his vote.
7:20am – Voting in Fuvahmulah.
7:10am – Supreme Court Guideline 13 states that the latest token number issued to voters must be announced every 30 minutes to voters [waiting in queue], the relevant official should note the token number near the person’s name on the list while marking the name of the person after he or she has voted, and impartial officials must be appointed to ensure that no person’s name is marked twice and that two token numbers are not listed near the same name.
The Elections Commission has appointed a new official at every polling station to do this task
7:00am – Polls open across the country