The Maldives’ top court on Sunday ended weeks of uncertainty by rejecting strongman President Abdulla Yameen’s controversial bid to annul last month’s election results, upholding his landslide defeat to an opposition candidate. The five-judge Supreme Court bench unanimously ruled that Yameen had failed to prove his claim that the election was rigged and a fresh poll was necessary in the Indian Ocean archipelago. Under international pressure, Yameen initially conceded defeat in the September 23 poll. But he then filed an appeal this month, throwing the island nation into turmoil and attracting warnings from the United States and regional superpower India to respect the outcome.
Articles about voting issues in the Republic of Maldives.
Hundreds of Maldivians protested on Sunday demanding the arrest of defeated President Abdulla Yameen as its top court began to hear a petition challenging the outcome of last’s month election in the island nation. The tourist archipelago has been in political turmoil since February, when a state of emergency was imposed by Yameen, whose critics have accused him of running Maldives with an iron fist, jailing political opponents and Supreme Court judges. “This is our right. They can’t change it. They can’t play around with the votes,” Abidha Afeef, a 55-year old protester told Reuters. “Yameen has to go.”
Maldives President Abdulla Yameen has filed a court challenge against his election loss, citing a “lot of complaints from supporters”, according to a lawyer. The complaint was filed at the island nation’s Supreme Court on Wednesday, said the president’s lawyer, Mohamed Saleem. Yameen lost the September 23 election by a 16 percent margin to opposition leader, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, in an outcome hailed as a win for democracy in the crisis-hit Indian Ocean archipelago. The result was widely accepted, including by the United States, China, India, and the European Union.
The Maldives’ election commission on Saturday officially endorsed thevictory of the opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in last week’s presidential polls amid concerns that Maldives outgoing President Abdulla Yameen is trying to hold on to power. Salah Rasheed, the election commission’s secretary general, said Solih’s Maldivian Democratic Party won the polls with 58.4 percent of the ballot. Although election monitors had warned of rigging by the incumbent, Yameen could secure only 41.6 percent. Solih was backed by four opposition parties, three of which supported Yameen in a controversial 2013 runoff that the country’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Nasheed, lost narrowly. Solih is expected to be sworn in on November 17 when Yameen’s term comes to a close.
The Maldives police and army have said they will act to guarantee the result of Sunday’s presidential election is honoured, amid reports the country’s ousted leader Abdulla Yameen is preparing a last-minute legal challenge to the vote. The acting chief of the Maldives police, Abdulla Nawaz, tweeted on Wednesday evening the decision “made by the beloved people of the Maldives on 23 September 2018 will be respected and upheld by police”. A similar statement was issued by captain Ibrahim Azim, an information officer in the Maldives National Defence Force. The assurances by the country’s security forces came after public warnings by opposition groups that Yameen, who was defeated in Sunday’s poll by 17 points, was preparing a legal bid to challenge the result.
Maldives’ President Abdulla Yameen has conceded defeat after a surprise election win for the opposition in a poll that was billed as a test for democracy in the troubled island nation. “The citizens of the Maldives had their say … and I accept that result,” Yameen said in a televised speech on Monday. The 59-year-old, who presided over a five-year crackdown on dissent, said he met with president-elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih at the president’s office in Male shortly before his speech. “I have congratulated him,” Yameen said.
The Maldives, the isolated scattering of islands caught in a geopolitical struggle between China, India and the West, were thrust into more uncertainty Sunday when voters appeared to have ousted the country’s autocratic president. With votes still being tallied, local news organizations reported that Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, the opposition candidate, had beaten President Abdulla Yameen. Mr. Solih won 58 percent of the vote with about 97 percent of ballots counted, according to the independent news website mihaaru.com. Transparency Maldives, an election watchdog, said he had won “by a decisive margin.” As Mr. Solih declared victory and his supporters danced in the street, observers held their breath as they waited to see what Mr. Yameen would do next.
Maldives: Long lines, fainting and shoving: Maldives voting proves slow-going | Maldives Independent
People reported waiting up to six hours to cast their vote in the Maldives presidential election Sunday, as long lines persisted at polling stations more than halfway through the day. There are about 262,000 eligible voters. Elections Commission member Ahmed Akram told the Maldives Independent that turnout had reached 38 percent by noon. Polls close in less than an hour, but queues stretched outside most schools where polling stations were set up in the capital. In Kuala Lumpur people fainted while waiting, leaving others in the queue to manage the line and arrange for drinking water. Queues were said to extend from the 10th floor to the ground floor. There are almost 1,900 people registered to vote in Kuala Lumpur, but only one ballot box.
The usual din of fishmongers’ cries on the Maldivian capital’s waterfront was drowned out by loud boos on Tuesday when a truck carrying flag-waving activists campaigning to re-elect President Abdulla Yameen lumbered past them. It’s a sight that has become common in Male’s busy market, where a web of pink and yellow campaign banners hangs between every lamppost and from every fishing boat’s mast. Earlier this week, Yameen’s spokesman was booed out of the area by opposition supporters angry over corruption and human rights abuses in this popular Indian Ocean honeymoon destination. Yameen, 59, is standing for a second five-year term in polls on Sunday, promising “transformative economic development”, including jobs and housing for the Maldives’ large youth population.
The Maldives’ opposition party Wednesday raised concerns over conduct of the presidential elections on Sunday in a free and fair manner by the country’s poll body, which it alleged has deployed activists of the ruling dispensation for the poll duty. President Abdulla Yameen, of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), is seeking a second five-year term in the Indian Ocean archipelago, a popular high-end tourist destination. Yemeen had imposed a state of emergency in February after the Supreme Court quashed the conviction of nine opposition leaders, including the country’s first democratically elected president Mohamed Nasheed. Nasheed, the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) leader, is currently in exile in Sri Lanka. He has been barred from contesting the Sunday’s polls.