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Page added on October 8, 2013

Supreme Court annuls first round of presidential elections

Supreme Court annuls first round of presidential elections thumbnail

Additional reporting by Mohamed Naahii, Neil Merrett and Zaheena Rasheed

Read the verdict (Dhivehi)

The Supreme Court has annulled the first round of the 2013 presidential elections citing electoral irregularities, despite unanimous positive assessment of the polling by more than a thousand local and international election observers.

The 4:3 verdict cited a confidential police report submitted to the court allegedly claiming that 5600 votes were ineligible. The report has not been made public and was not shown to the Election Commission’s defence lawyers.

Former President Mohamed Nasheed emerged the front-runner with 45.45 percent of September 7’s vote, while half-brother of former President Gayoom, Abdulla Yameen, came second with 25.35 percent.

Gasim Ibrahim, resort tycoon and member of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) until his candidacy, came third with 24.07 percent of the vote, and filed a case demanding the result be annulled after declaring “God willing, Gasim will be President on November 11”.

Incumbent President Mohamed Waheed, who ran in coalition with the Dhivehi Rayithunge Party (DRP), received just 5.13 percent of the vote. The DRP subsequently allied with the MDP. It is uncertain if Waheed will run independently again, or form a coalition with Yameen.

The Supreme Court indefinitely suspended the second round on September 23, issuing a supplementary midnight ruling on September 26 ordering the police and military to forcibly prevent the Elections Commission from holding the second round.

The EC had said it intended to comply with the constitutionally-mandated deadline for the run-off of September 28, but was forced to capitulate after it was surrounded by special operations police with orders to storm the building, arrest officials and confiscate ballot papers.

The court’s annulment of the result follows two weeks of street protests, strikes, travel warnings and rumblings of concern from top ranks in the military.

The verdict

Gasim’s legal team, led by his running mate Dr Hassan Saeed, sought to annul the poll on the grounds that it was a “systematic failure”. Yameen’s Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) and Attorney General Azima Shukoor – Yameen’s former lawyer – sided with Gasim in court against the Elections Commission.

The EC disputed the credibility of the evidence presented against the polls, which besides the secret police report, included hearsay and speculative testimony from 14 anonymised witnesses. It also noted that even if factual the evidence was not sufficient to impact the results of the first round. The EC’s head lawyer, former Attorney General Husnu Suood, was subsequently ejected for contempt of court.

The majority ruling to annul the election was given by Justices Dr Ahmed Abdulla Didi, Abdulla Saeed, Adam Mohamed – also Chair of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) – and Ali Hameed, currently under investigation by police and the JSC for his appearance in multiple leaked sex tapes involving unidentified foreign women in a Colombo hotel room. While on the JSC, Gasim had voted against the JSC’s investigating subcommittee’s own recommendation to suspend the judge, and labelled the tapes “fake”.

In the verdict, Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz Hussain, Justice Abdulla Areef and Justice Muthasim Adnan argued that Gasim’s Jumhoree Party (JP) had failed to show sufficient grounds to annul the poll.

In issuing the majority ruling, Justice Abdulla Didi said the Supreme Court had sought the assistance of Forensic Investigations Directorate of the Maldives Police Service in carrying out a documentary analysis and comparison of the documents submitted by the JP as evidence, against the original voter list used by the EC officials at the polling booths.

Justice Didi noted that the report by the police investigation team – which according to him consisted of technical experts – had produced a report that claimed 5,623 ineligible votes had been cast during the poll.

The ineligible votes, as per Justice Didi, had included: votes cast under the name of dead people, votes cast by underage children, double voting and votes cast under unregistered National Identification Cards.

Didi in the ruling claimed that the figure quoted in the police report exceeded the narrow margin between the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and JP Candidate Gasim Ibrahim, who finished the race in second and third position respectively.

Didi also said that EC’s actions amounted to undermining of the people’s right to vote and conflicted with the concept of Universal Suffrage which had been acknowledged in the constitution.

He also noted although a new president is unable to be sworn in on November 11 – the date on which the current presidential term expires – the country would not go into a state of constitutional limbo as the principle of continuity of legitimate government would override any repercussions faced by failure to adhere to constitutional deadlines.

Therefore, the first round of presidential election held on September 7 lacked any legal grounds to be considered legitimate, Justice Didi declared.

With the declaration, the four Justices who had formed the majority ruling laid down an interim schedule for the holding of fresh elections.

According to the schedule, the fresh presidential elections are to be scheduled by October 20, and a second round – if required – is to be held on November 3.

The Supreme Court also laid down guidelines which the EC was ordered to follow, including giving the police a substantive role in handling the logistics and security of the election and ballot papers.

The court also ordered the EC to collaborate with the National Center for Information Technology (NCIT) and other government institutions to enhance the security of its database and network server.

Reaction

MDP protesters gathered near the Supreme Court as the verdict was given greeted the announcement of the October 20 deadline with cautious optimism, noting the second chance for a first round victory.

“We will win in a first round with 150,000 votes. We will beat them down with votes. We will beat the Supreme Court judges,” said MDP MP Imthiyaz Fahmy, while the party’s running mate Mustafa Lutfi called for a ‘celebratory march’.

Not all in the crowd were as enthused. There was an air of latent anger, disappointment and determination.

One woman shouted at the police monitoring the protest: “Traitors! You facilitated one coup, now a second coup, you will do it again. But we will beat you down with votes.”

Yameen’s running mate and Gayoom’s former Justice Minister, Dr Mohamed Jameel, welcomed the Supreme Court’s ruling.

“This time around there will be a certain guideline which Elections Commission (EC) must follow,” he said. “I think based on the judgement of the Supreme Court, the head of the EC must resign as a moral and legal step.”

88 percent of the country’s 240,000-odd eligible voters cast their ballots in the first round, many of them for the first time.

First-time voter Mohamed Haisham, 19, said today’s Supreme Court ruling had only been a victory for the country’s rich elite, keen to keep resort profits to themselves.

“In my opinion, [JP candidate] Gasim did this. He used his wealth and power to buy the election. However, people are aware of this now, he will not get as many votes this time around.”

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the fresh election was scheduled on Oct 20 with run-offs on Nov 3. According to the court, elections are to be held BY Oct 20 with run-offs BY Nov 3. A written verdict had yet to be released as of 3:00pm Tuesday.

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42 Comments on "Supreme Court annuls first round of presidential elections"

  1. Ahmed Bin Addu Bin Suvadheeb on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 3:01 AM 

    “The Supreme Court also laid down guidelines which the EC was ordered to follow, included giving the police a substantive role in handling the logistics and security of the election and ballot papers.”

    (1) If the Police have anything to do with the election, you can kiss goodbye to the principle of Universal Suffrage as mentioned in the Constitution. The whole idea of this is to allow the Police to tamper with the electoral results! However, it can be argued that the EC does not have to follow them as they are unconstitutional.

    (2) On the plus side MDP gets another chance to win with an outright majority. MDP should not waste a single moment, but try to get that additional 5% needed to secure a win.

    (3) Jameel is a village idiot and no one ever listens to him, so there’s no point in assessing his random ramblings dribbling out of his mouth. Between him and Saeed, they’ve got a cunning plan. By signing up with PPM and JP respectively, they hope at least one of them will get propelled to power. Allah willing, neither Jameel nor Saeed will ever hold an elected post in this country. Never ever.

    (4) Even if we take the 5623 votes that was plucked out of thin air by the police “intelligence”, that only leaves Gasim and Yameen to fight it out. Remember both of them lost by more than 40,000 votes to Nasheed!

    (5) After a clear win for those who love democracy, we can deal with the likes of Ali Hameed & Co in the Supreme Court. Allah willing, this will be the last verdict that Ali Hameed will have the pleasure of signing. He had better relocate himself to Russia to enjoy his other pleasures.

  2. Maldives Proud on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 3:10 AM 

    SC decision have paved the way to have a second chance to Maldivains with their legitimate concern about foreign involvement in the election process.

    If MDP can ensure the next round is 100 percent GMR free, they get my vote.

  3. Alla Beyyaa on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 3:59 AM 

    “I think based on the judgement of the Supreme Court, the head of the EC must resign as a moral and legal step.” so said Jameel.

    Just one question for Mr Bondibaiy: What do you think of the moral and legal standing of Ali Hameed who has committed adultery and whose punishment under Islamic Sharia is stoning to death?

    After we have the answer to that one, we can discuss other moral and legal steps.

  4. Angagatha Mithuru on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 4:56 AM 

    There is NO WAY the police will do an honest job. This is a trap. This is back to the vote fixing days of the regime.

    If the votes are transported or in any way in contact with the police,the results will be entirely rearranged. Please, people, realise, this is a worse fate than not being given a vote at all.

    When are we going to wake up?

  5. Accept and move on on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 4:59 AM 

    It is what it is. Accept and move on!

  6. Andrew Robertson on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 5:00 AM 

    This decision, though no doubt welcomed by some, will put police resources under enormous strain. Not only will they have to manage the electoral process now the EC is sidelined, but also ensure that the results are fairly tallied so Yameen gets 50.17% of the vote and is acclaimed the winner.

    I hope they get paid overtime for upholding democratic ideals and live happily ever after in their nice new ‘Government’ provided apartments!

    Andrew

  7. Ashad on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 5:27 AM 

    The people of Maldives should now rise as one and give a very good lesson to all those who have taken them for a ride over the last few weeks.
    I recommend organisations like Transparency Maldives and a good team of foreign observers be present throughout the whole process helping our EC to ensure a free and fair election.
    The outcome I do not doubt will please the majority.

  8. peasant on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 6:26 AM 

    Suvadheeb,

    Why do you think PPM sided with JP in a case to annul an election in which PPM had gone through, edging out JP?

    Don’t be naive, this is not the end of the Supreme Courts’ role.

  9. MissIndia NewDelhi on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 7:35 AM 

    Like I said before…..pay attention morons…..you couldn’t organise a drinks party in a brewery never mind an election.

  10. John Seyfert on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 8:13 AM 

    What a Country. One has to live it to believe it.

    This will be an excellent movie on Government Hypocrisy until the wisdom of the people awakens.

    The ending should be of joy and laughter clearly showing what the power of the people can do.

  11. Ali on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 8:50 AM 

    I disagree with the Supreme Court ruling. Not about the annulment of the elections but about police involvement in the electoral process. An institution which has lost all credibility cannot be involved in something which is going to shape the future of the nation.
    My personal experience with the police is not very good. I had a motorbike and a laptop stolen and the police just laughed.
    I am not prepared to entrust my vote to the likes of Abdulla Riyaz and his goon squad.
    I would prefer to launch a nationwide petition calling on the Supreme Court to retract the need for police involvement.

  12. Alla Beyyaa on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 9:22 AM 

    @peasant on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 6:26 AM

    “Don’t be naive, this is not the end of the Supreme Courts’ role.”

    (1) Well, we can hope can’t we. I do have reasons for saying what I said though :-) If, the EC is in charge of the polls and it’s a fair process, then MDP will most likely win outright.

    (2) However, as already pointed out, the involvement of the police means it won’t be a fair process. The fact that it will be rigged is as clear as night follows day! Under those circumstances, MDP has only one option but to boycott.

    (3) Some may say, that might just suit Yameen and Gasim and that they probably would like MDP to boycott. After all, then they can send President Nasheed to gaol for good. With the Courts firmly established now under their control that’s a given.

    (4) Still all is not lost. EC can take measures to ensure that the police cannot tamper with the ballot. It will be tough though, as I’m sure preparations are well underway for the Mother-of-all-Vote-Rigs! Together with PPM’s 30 years of experience of vote rigging it’d be a piece of cake. What was it Gay Yoom used to get? Something like 100% in most islands as I recall, which is only possible in a handful of countries ruled by despots.

  13. Ahmed Bin Addu Bin Suvadheeb on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 9:28 AM 

    Would the police interfere with the polls? You can bet your last Rufiyaa on that one. This is just the perfect setup now for a massive rigging of the election!

    I’d have thought that it’s illegal as per the Maldivian Constitution for the police to have any involvement in the election process unless strictly asked by the EC. Courts, supreme or not cannot force the EC to do otherwise! That’d be illegal.

    Question is, if EC does decide not to involve the Police, what happens next? It doesn’t look good. With white elastic pants Ali Hameed firmly entrenched in the Supreme Court, and Gasim’s Ace of Spades nicely tucked away, there’s no chance.

  14. Andrew Andreas on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 9:31 AM 

    Guys we need a free and fair election.

    1) free from moronic obligations. That means the mullahs must not terrorise gullible with hell stories, whoever they chose to vote.

    2) each must vote based on his or her own accord, to the betterment of the country.

    3) the bitter rivalry is not doing any good to anybody. All it does is it just hits everybody with unnecessary expenses.

    4) no forced or manipulations can be allowed.

    Only then would we have a free n fair election.

    But is it possible?? I don’t think so.

    If MDP wins, it’s Sc again. If qasim wins yamin and MDP will bring hell to earth in Maldives. Same with the other 2. So who wins?

  15. skeptical inquirier on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 9:36 AM 

    A compendium of expletives wont be enough to do justice for this outrage. Id love to say keep calm, campaign and keep up the pressure but its a sure bet that everything possible will be done to make sure MDP dont win. Every dirty trick will be used. Most probably, Anni will be arrested. Its good though that the public can now see irrefutable evidence of how dirty this playing field truly is.

  16. Hussain Manik on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 9:40 AM 

    The pressure cooker idiot Jameel, why dont you ask disgraced judge Ali Hameed to resign on moral and legal standing? What do you think of the moral and legal standing of Ali Hameed who has committed adultery and whose punishment under Islamic Sharia is stoning to death?
    You are one of those loosers that shall rot and you will not be given the chance for a third coup in my beloved country. I curse you

  17. skeptical inquirier on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 9:41 AM 

    @ miss india

    Dear lady. F@#$ off. Dont assume that you are the only one with brains after reading an article.

  18. Ahmed on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 11:05 AM 

    Amazing rigging and setting up and moving of the goal posts until they can fix the result they want.

    This is democracy but a sick twisted perversion of democracy. EVERYONE KNOWS THE POLICE ARE THE OLD BRUTAL DICTATORSHIP!

  19. Angagatha Mithuru on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 11:05 AM 

    Who said Miss india has brains? It is easy to destroy and put down. Not so easy to build and improve. People with real brains sustain a vision of better things. That’s how things improve.
    Miss India probably needs to do what she does,on the advice of her therapist!

  20. Doubting T on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 11:38 AM 

    The long awaited SC ruling is now here & the decision is to cancel the first round. Alhamdulilahi the Doomsday prognostics did not materialise. All in all it would seem that it’s a win for Maldivian Democracy. The right to “vote” has been upheld, and perhaps we are at last seeing the beginning of the respect for the rule of law. Further I see that in just its second election the EC has managed to keep discrepancies to just about 2% – testimony to the preponderant professionalism of the EC. Given also that the vote between 2nd and 3rd place is just about 2% pointed to the fact that in the 1st round every single vote – each man/woman- 1 vote, was absolutely essential. The raison-d’etre of the court case Gassim Vs EC; with relation to who faces the front runner has become evident.

    As can be seen, for the front runner the whole exercise proves to be academic. There can be no doubt whatsoever that the front runner is 40,000 votes away from the next two competitors. Whatever you might call the next round of elections; it would demonstrate to the country if the MDP has 50%. :-) {Correction! The MDP-DRP coalition}.

    It would appear that the PPM is happy & the JP even more happy that it has been given a new lease of life. Cant think of a reason why MDP cannot be very happy (their claim of 90,000 has been proven beyond a doubt, and election has been set for the 20thOct – and with it the possibility, EHBURUN a landslide) President Waheed is always happy – so alhamdulilahi we are one happy family
    :-) except probably Judge Hameed.

    He badly wants his name cleared and dreams of the day that judicial reforms come in double quick and relieve him & those like him to sit on a bench :-) whilst they are being investigated. I’m sure Judge Hameed must be praying that society too changes so that it brings to bear moral pressure on people like him (State functionaries) standing accused of crimes, to step aside–until cleared of their alleged crimes. At least in the interest of the office they hold.

    In this long breath also comes to mind the incredibly puerile and criminal behaviour of quiet a few of the MP’s too. We all see the parliamentary rules being flouted. It brings into focus the whole concept of Parliamentary privileges – which is built on Members sense of responsibility. However it’s evident to an increasingly disgusted public the lack of responsibility, and the alarming statistic that places the Parliament at the apex of the pyramid of corruption in the Maldives.

    Finally with elections again around the corner lest remind ourselves of some humorous statistics, that has come to light in the first round.

    1. Dead people who voted – 718
    2. Underage children who voted– 225
    3. No of people without ID cards who voted – 2630
    4. No of people whose permanent address did not match -2630
    5. No of people whose ID’s did not match -819
    6. What have I missed?

    I pen off looking to the future with hope and a prayer that all politicians take comfort that Maldives is changing and has changed. The Supreme Court case Gassim Vs. EC proves that they could let their recessor Genes to take over and repress their urge to put thugs on the streets – whatever the denomination:-) they belong to.

    Let’s give our better selves a chance. Praying for a just and dignified future – something by the way our beloved Islam mandates as our right.

    P.S

  21. Amazing on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 12:08 PM 

    The end of MDP.
    Even if they win again for the majority vote,
    the Supreme Court surely can think of another plan to annul it.

    Maldives is amazing! Yes, good idea about making a movie our of it.

  22. peasant on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 12:19 PM 

    “If, the EC is in charge of the polls and it’s a fair process, then MDP will most likely win outright”

    Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough. There will be no election held on the 20th with Mohamed Nasheeds’ name on the ballot paper.

    There is still time for subterfuge. The September 7th Election shows the sentiment of the voters, the victor is clear. There is no possibility of winning by rigging the vote (too votes to rig, too many eyes watching and too transparent a process). Therefore the only way to prevent a MDP victory would be for the MDP candidate to be barred from participating.

    Wait for the case to be filed at the Underwear SC. Within this week probably.

  23. progressive primates of maldives on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 12:26 PM 

    Let the professional vote rigging begin! Sit back and watch the masters. Unless of course they just arrest Nasheed before Oct. 20.

  24. Larry[geordie]Dodds on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 12:43 PM 

    To an interested outsider,,it is plain to see that Gayoom/family/friends still hold the power in the Maldives.It is also plain to see,that they don’t want to lose that power..This ‘next’ election will be under close scrutiny by the world—DARE THE POWERS THAT-BE,,RIGG THE RESULT ????—

  25. Naina on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 12:56 PM 

    I don’t think police can do a good analysis on an election results. It’s just a scam. Better abolish all the commissions and country run by SC. What a country and what a legacy with compliments from Gayoom the father of democracy.

  26. MissIndia NewDelhi on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 2:22 PM 

    When I see the political chaos in neighbouring countries, it sure feels good to be Indian. Maybe we ‘kuffars’ have got it right after all.
    This will make you sick to the teeth:
    India has been a stable and secular democracy since independence 66 years ago.
    We are 86% Hindu yet fiercely secular. We even give Haj subsidies to our muslim brothers…..what would India be like with an 86% sunni muslim majority I wonder…..shudder, shudder…..probably another intolerant hole like Maldives.
    We have the third largest economy in Asia and the tenth largest economy in the world.
    We are the regional superpower and we have just launched a nuclear powered carrier…..the daily operational cost of which would bankrupt you.
    Our IT, pharma, steel, textile, chemical, publishing and media sectors now match developed countries and we will soon be the regional hub for the manufacture of motor vehicles including two wheelers.
    Our nuclear power stations operate on Indian processed fuel.
    We have an advanced space and ballistics programme. Our moon probe actually landed on the lunar surface and our Mars probe will launch soon…..any volunteers for the one way journey? Kuribee, Dhivehi Hangyourmama, Facts, Anghagatha, Skeptical, Ahmed Dustbin Laddu?
    Our health and education sectors are well developed and…..sadly for us…..has morons like you laying siege to our embassy for visas.
    So the next time you act superior and uppity with your Indian workers, just remember there are more dollar millionaires in India than there are people in Maldives…..including well educated, well travelled and well heeled people like me.
    Yes I am a rich bored housewife in New Delhi and I have nothing better to do than to log on to this website on my iPad and poke fun at you dimwitted and backward islanders…..my therapist said its good for me.

  27. Ali Rasheed on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 3:34 PM 

    If Hamid Karzai who has little or no support in Afghanistan can get himself elected President by rigging the vote why can’t it be done in the Maldives? That plastic faced moron and the terrorism expert Yaameen has a lot of experience in vote rigging. If the police cannot be kept out of the electoral process we may as well hand over the country to the Kaaminee clan. Well, as for Qasim, even the Sri Lankans call him a fool. Should the MDP get taken for a ride they cannot cry foul at the end of it ‘cos the Supreme Court will not hear of it. Preventive measures may be better than a violent confrontation at the end of the electoral process. Perhaps someone will be good enough to deport Abdulla Riyaz to Thimarafushi.

  28. Ali Rasheed on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 3:45 PM 

    @miss India New Delhi. If India is the regional Superpower than what’s China? The Superduper Power? You say India is a democracy. Why are the Kerala police manning the Immigration desks at the airport? You say you are progressive. Why do Indians piss on the streets when there are public toilets in the vicinity?

  29. Andrew Robertson on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 4:05 PM 

    @MissIndia

    Just a moment Miss NewDelhi!

    Last Tuesday night, India’s cabinet issued an order overturning a Supreme Court ruling demanding the disqualification of any politician convicted for crimes punishable with more than two years in jail.

    More than 150 MP’s in the 543-seat lower house of parliament are said to be facing criminal charges and six politicians charged with rape remain in office.

    And the Delhi-based election watchdog ‘Association for Democratic Reforms’ says that across the country there are 1,460 serving lawmakers facing criminal charges.

    Even at its worst, the Maldives parliament can’t match that!

    But, good my brother,
    Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
    Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven
    Whiles, like a puffed and reckless libertine,
    Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads
    And recks not his own rede.

    Hamlet – Act 1 Scene 3

    Best wishes

    Your friend

    Ophelia

  30. Alla Beyyaa on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 4:08 PM 

    @MissIndia NewDelhi on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 2:22 PM

    “When I see the political chaos in neighbouring countries, it sure feels good to be Indian.”

    Enough drivel, will you f**k off?

  31. tsk tsk on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 5:00 PM 

    The 4:3 Supreme Court majority which has ruled almost consistently as a single entity has delivered yet another decision in favor of political expediency thereby sacrificing basic legal principles which form the cornerstone of our Constitution as well as any democracy. Most likely the Justices who delivered the majority view deliberately remained silent on certain implications of their decision such as;

    (1) The fact that the parties to the case were not allowed to examine certain evidence brought against them. Key witnesses were allowed to testify in anonymity thereby defeating any chance at a proper cross-examination. Meanwhile certain documents and electronic material were examined by the Justices themselves without holding a hearing for the parties to respond. If this is allowed to stand as a precedent then one of the fundamental basics of a fair trial are compromised.

    (2)Instances of illegal voting and negligence in drawing up the electoral roll is, according to the esteemed view of the Justices, grounds to annul a nation-wide presidential election instead of holding polls in specific districts to rectify those issues. An expensive precedent indeed.

    This decision is politically expedient however because it gives the MDP-DRP coalition a chance to secure the presidency in one fell swoop OR on the other hand it may give Qasim Ibrahim a chance to go to a possible runoff as the head of a coalition where PPM would have to play second fiddle OR PPM may have the opportunity to expand their voter base with stronger campaigning and targeted advances on MDP’s voter base by using State resources.

    As for the compromised Justice Ali Hameed Mohamed. His presence on the bench swung the vote while several parties had raised credible concerns about his impartiality being compromised due to the obvious existence of material that may be used to blackmail him or his close connections with business individuals and politicians as evidenced by video recordings of his conversations with them. A paralyzed and bitterly divided Parliament and heavily politicized and dysfunctional JSC remains as yet unable to address this issue which threatens to destroy public confidence in and respect for the judiciary.

  32. Ahmed Bin Addu Bin Suvadheeb on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 5:33 PM 

    @tsk tsk:

    “A paralyzed and bitterly divided Parliament and heavily politicized and dysfunctional JSC remains as yet unable to address this issue which threatens to destroy public confidence in and respect for the judiciary.”

    You’ve summarised it well enough, however:

    (1) Is there anything more to destroy? At least 45% of the electorate has no confidence in the judiciary. We’ll see how much more that swells up to soon enough.

    (2) You called it “political expediency”. I will be more direct and say it was designed to save the faces of certain individuals. We all know who they are.

    (3) The who Gasim and Saeed case was shown to baseless. After all, Gasim claimed he should have WON the first round outright. Saeed claimed there was large scale fraud. Both were shown to be totally false.

    (4) As noted the “evidence” of 5623 irregularities is not evidence that’d be acceptable by any standards of impartial justice, the most serious being the defendant having been barred from either examining or answering those claims.

    (5) 5623 irregularities, even IF correct, represents just over a 2% error rate. This is a remarkable level of accuracy given the difficult circumstances that the EC has to work with. And it’s remarkable even by international standards.

    (6) Out of those 5623 alleged irregularities, how many actually contributed to Gasim even getting as far as he got? No one ever showed which way those irregular voters cast their vote. They could have voted for any of the 4 candidates!

  33. Ahmed on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 6:53 PM 

    The goal posts will be moved until they get what they want. Democracy has nearly died. Rise up now and fight back!

  34. Virendra on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 7:23 PM 

    Don’t mind a MissIndia guys. She is just one of the people enjoying the scene (just like millions other who care to follow news about Maldives). Despite all such corruption, at least Indians haven’t seen a coup and their Supreme Court don’t have coconut-heads as judges. In South Asia, they are by far the best when it comes to democracy and freedom.

  35. Private Tourist on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 8:31 PM 

    Very disappointing turn of events, but not entirely unpredictable. But, now the POLICE are going to run the election and are now going to have to hide possibly 55% (or even more) of votes favouring the MDP. Thats going to be interesting to watch.

    From an outsiders standpoint, it is obvious the government wish to incite the population to demonstration and violence, to which they respond accordingly and make up new laws and restrictions, even within the military. They seem to read the Minivan news avidly, as they seem to react instantly to every report made there, which I intimated to in a previous thread.

    So, demonstration doesn’t work. It has the counter effect. Violence against the police even more so.

    The only weapon you have left is passivity. This may sound unthinkable, but against passivity, the government and police and courts have no weapons.

    Take lessons from Ghandhi. He overthrew the British Raj without raising a fist.

    Your ONLY weapon left is your labour.

    Withhold your labour through union action and the government will outlaw your unions.

    So, there is only ONE way it can be done.

    RESIGN.

    Everyone resign on the *same* day. ATC workers, police, airport workers, resort workers everyone, give the notice required by your respective employers to coincide on a set day.

    This is legal.

    It has its risks. You may not get your job back when it all settles.

    But it may be better than than the batons, the arrests, torture or worse.

    The government could not replace all of the key workers in time. The tourists will stay away.

    The military may be able to man the airport and docks but not effectively.

    No, I am not a stooge. I am a tourist. I am bitterly disappointed that you are all unhappy. I have enjoyed visiting your beautiful islands and meeting your equally delightful people, and I am sad I am going to have to cancel my holiday now and possibly never visit again.

    Reading between the lines, instinct tells me that the Military are poised to take full control. Especially as the SC vote was almost split. They are obviously uneasy and I think the same as what happened in Egypt will happen in the Maldives. This may be a mixed blessing but invariably they usually will favour the most popular potential leader and install him accordingly.

    I wish you all the best of luck.

  36. Hassan Adam on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 8:49 PM 

    A sad day for anyone who valued the independence and impartiality of a judiciary that works to uphold the law.

    A sad day for anyone who valued the independence and impartiality of a police force that exists to protect citizens and their property.

    The stench of corruption hangs over this case and over most of the dealings of both Courts and Police. Much stronger than the smell of burnt plastic and wood at the Raajje TV studios.

    The Supreme Court majority verdict was only possible because a judge who should not have been allowed to be present (remember the matter of the extra large underpants?) was instead allowed to take part by the Judicial Services Commission, which in turn has been corrupted by the same parties that filed the petition.

    The reasons given for the annulment are as dubious as the “report” (which we cannot see) given by a police force which has long lost its integrity and demonstrably lacks the competence to do anything other than bully and abuse the citizens of the country.

    The latest signs of Police bias and/or incompetence can be seen in the ashes of the Raajje TV building. The police officers who witnessed this happening were either acting as lookouts for the arsonists or were too disorganised to do anything to stop them. Or it may have been both.

    For the Court to insist that the Police be involved in the elections is an invitation for the elections to be rigged and/or hindered.

    The Supreme Court and Police have decided to prostitute themselves by throwing away the rights of 200,000 Maldivians and favoring the greed of a few well placed and corrupt people.

    Their greed and betrayal of the common islanders of this nation will be remembered and recorded, whatever happens.

    We have the confirmation of several independent and unrelated international observers who have confirmed the truth – that the elections were indeed free and fair AND that any discrepancies ( if any) were too minor to have an impact on the results. Those of us who were lucky enough to view the elections closely could also see that everything was handled very well, and that voters from all parties were happy to be able to have free and fair elections without fear and intimidations.

    The only comfort we can take from this disgusting episode is the fact that at least some of the judges on a discredited Supreme Court bench had the guts to tell the truth – that there was nothing wrong with the vote.

    I hope there are still some Police officers in the MPS who remember that they are supposed to protect the rights of the citizens their colleagues have so shamelessly betrayed.

  37. Hassan Adam on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 9:24 PM 

    @tsk tsk and @Ahmed Bin..

    Thank you for your insights. From what you have said, this affair has wider and more serious implications for the entire justice system in Maldives.

    I hope whoever comes to power will address these issues. However, it’s clear that realistically, the only party that has the will and incentive to handle this is MDP. The others are already compromised and could be said to be directly responsible for the current state of affairs.

    The MDP, and Nasheed especially, must share some of the blame for the current state of the judiciary and the MPS. After all, it was his idea to remove the only member (originally nominated by him) on the JCS with a sense of integrity and who kept the public informed of what was going on in that flawed institution. And his failure to tackle institutional defects within the MPS seem to have contributed to the events that led to his downfall.

    There is some hope that he will have learnt his lesson and will work to bring about meaningful reform. Alas, the chance of that happening under the other candidates is almost zero.

  38. zobi on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 9:36 PM 

    Missindia :

    Ur country developped ?

    Please stop your crap its dirty everywhere all corrupted and so many discrimination… get lost.

  39. zobi on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 9:39 PM 

    Virenda :

    Was reading last week a young couple of student got killed there by their familly as one of them was higher cast than the other, and apparently very common there, is that what you call freedoom ? I call that savages

  40. Adam on Tue, 8th Oct 2013 10:09 PM 

    @AdrewA,
    Out of the 3 candidates, only Yameen have the highest changes to bring ” peace” to the country- as the other two lack boldness and shrewdness.
    Democracy doesn’t apply to Maldives and it will not work neither other countries who promote democracy will support it. These countries care less what Maldives is facing.

    Yameen should capitalize that.
    As his half brother knows it well what to do, if Yameen becomes the president.

  41. Virendra on Thu, 10th Oct 2013 12:16 PM 

    @Zobi
    Did you also read that the culprits were arrested (not the victims)?
    Did you also read that police force promptly did the arrest?
    And did you notice that you are trying to equate a murder in India with hijacking of democracy in Maldives by an institution (Supreme Court) meant to protect it? That is pitiable comparison – somehow after every election in India, the losing party has accepted defeat saying it is people’s mandate – they don’t try to use Army or Supreme Court to twist the results that way. Savages or not, Indians are way better in keeping their top institutes clean and straight.

  42. nix on Wed, 23rd Oct 2013 8:40 AM 

    @ MissIndia NewDelhi:

    Yawn :O Zzzzzz…


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