Masked men with machetes and metal rods burst into a television studio in Male, capital of the Maldives, early on October 7th. They stabbed a security guard and set the place ablaze in a clumsy attempt to intimidate Raajje TV, which is aligned with the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP). That afternoon, another blow: the Supreme Court annulled the first round of the presidential election, held on September 7th. The MDP’s modernising candidate, Mohamed Nasheed, had won with 45% of the votes. Before a run-off, the court suspended polling. Then, on the basis of a “secret” police report that even the electoral commission was not allowed to see, it scrapped the election.
Mr Nasheed, the country’s first elected president, was ousted in what was, in essence, a coup in 2012. On October 8th he concluded that, once again, “things are not looking very good”. A few judges, he said, “feel they have to nullify a very well observed election”. Over 1,000 local and international monitors (one for every 350 Maldivians) watched the poll. All reported it had gone well.
Male’s narrow streets are now the site of MDP protests. Dock workers, air-traffic controllers and others have called strikes. Resort staff could protest, disrupting honeymooners on their atolls. After many arrests, Mr Nasheed fears that he could be next.
Full Article: The Maldives: Go away and vote again | The Economist.