MDP call for a “people’s government” if no election by November 11

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)  passed a resolution on Sunday (September 29), calling for the establishment of a people’s government headed by the party’s presidential candidate and former president Mohamed Nasheed, if no elected president is sworn in by the end of the current presidential term on November 11.

The resolution comes after the Maldives Police Services forcibly brought run-off preparations to a halt on Friday following a Supreme Court order to delay the second round of presidential elections in an ongoing case filed by third placed Jumhooree Party (JP) to annul the vote.

The MDP emerged as the front-runner with 45.45 percent of the vote in the first round of polls and was set to run against the Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM), which won 25.35 percent in a second round on September 29.

The resolution, passed with unanimous approval of 78 members, says the party will continue its presidential campaign activities, will actively participate in peaceful political activity to get the right to vote, and is to establish a people’s government if a president is not sworn in by November 11.

“If no elected President is sworn in as per the constitution on 11 November 2013, then the MDP by virtue of the mandate given to them by the first round of the Presidential elections held on 7 September 2013, will work to establish a people’s Government headed by the MDP’s Presidential candidate, President Mohamed Nasheed,” the resolution read.

The party is to hold discussions with all state institutions and the international community to seek their support for the people’s government.

Further, the party has called for civil disobedience and will begin mass protests calling for the establishment of a people’s government, and will carry out political activity in Male’ and the atolls.

According to the resolution, MDP’s campaign offices and atolls will be reactivated and campaign officials are to travel across the country to continue with presidential campaign. Door-to-door activities are to restart.

The PPM’s legal advisor Mohamed Waheed Ibrahim yesterday said that the Supreme Court should decide who to hand the presidency to should presidential elections fail to take place by November 11.

Meanwhile, the Jumhooree Party has criticised the MDP’s resolution as “extremist and harmful” and says the MDP wants to “create strife and plunge the country into a behavioural war by bringing people from the atolls into Malé.”

In a statement released on Sunday, the party said it wants a speedy verdict in the Supreme Court case and said “the Jumhooree Coalition will obey any Supreme Court verdict that calls for a revote and ensures first round’s fraud is not repeated.”

The Maldives’ first round of polling has received praise from international and domestic observers, whilst the Supreme Court’s decision to delay polls has been met with global and domestic concern.