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Maldives police defend blocking "unlawful" presidential elections

English.news.cn   2013-10-19 15:26:36            

MALE, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- Maldives police defended their move to stop presidential elections that were supposed to take place here on Saturday, insisting that a vote would have been "unlawful" and could have sparked "national instability."

Maldives police spokesman and Superintendent of Police Abdulla Nawaz told reporters that support could not have been given to an election that did not meet a 16-point guideline set by the Supreme Court ahead of the polls.

He insisted that article five of the Supreme Court guideline, which says candidates have to sign off on an all-important electoral list, was clearly not met after tycoon Gasim Ibrahim and former President Gayoom's half-brother MP Abdulla Yamin refused to abide by it.

Only former President Mohammad Nasheed who won the previous round of polling on Sept. 7 accepted the list citing errors as " negligible."

The first round of vote was annulled by the Supreme Court earlier this month and the guideline was set in place for the second round of voting. However the Elections Commission was only given 12 days to organize voting across 200 islands.

Embattled Maldives Elections Commissioner Fuad Thouwfeek accused the police of effectively stopping the vote by failing to provide the logistical assistance needed to hold presidential polling.

Thoufeek pointed out that in his interpretation the Supreme Court would have allowed the vote to go ahead even if the voter lists were unsigned, but police stopped the process by not allowing ballot papers and boxes to leave the Election Commission office.

"Maldives police service has in fact requested to the Elections Commission that police are having difficulties in supporting them in the polls. It is mainly because the Supreme Court ruling and guideline which states that all 16 points must be done," Nawaz noted, adding that support has been extended to the Elections Commission where possible.

He emphasized that the decision for the police not to assist the polling was taken after consultations with the National Security Council, attorney general, Maldives president and the acting home minister as well as the commonwealth advisor who has been assigned to oversee the elections.

"We are totally independent as an institution but we have to rely on the Supreme Court ruling and we are following that," he stressed.

"I believe police have to take responsibility of the security of the elections," he went on to say, but pointed out that citizens have to decide whether or not they want elections held in violation of Supreme Court orders and the Constitution.

The deadlock means Maldives has only two weeks to hold a third round of polling to elect a president and install him before the constitutional deadline of Nov. 11.

The international community led by India and the United States had been pushing for elections as scheduled but have achieved little success.

Maldives President Mohammad Waheed, who withdrew from the race on Friday, called on candidates to work together to hold elections.

The Maldives has been under the cloud of political infighting since former President Mohammad Nasheed was controversially ousted from power in February 2012.

Related:

Deadlocked candidates' outweigh international calls to hold Maldives presidential elections

MALE, Maldives Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- It is now all but certain that Maldives presidential elections will not be held as scheduled on Saturday despite the international community led by India and the U.S. urged polls to be held even if the list is not signed by all the candidates, local media reported.

Meanwhile Gasim holding a press conference insisted that polling would be "unlawful" unless all three parties sign the electoral list.  Full story

Embattled Maldives presidential polls likely to be delayed again

COLOMBO, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- With less than 24 hours to go it is highly unlikely that the embattled Maldives presidential elections will be held as scheduled and are likely to be postponed for the second time after two of the three candidates refused to sign an all-important electoral list, an official said here on Friday.

Maldives Elections Commissioner Fuwad Thowfeek told reporters that since the presidential candidates of the Jumhoory Party (JP) and Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) have refused to sign off on the Electoral List, there is inadequate time to prepare for voting on Oct. 19.  Full story

Maldives president urged to push ahead with presidential polls

MALE, Maldives, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- As the standoff between two presidential candidates created uncertainty over polling on Saturday Maldives president Mohamed Waheed was criticized by his predecessor on Friday for not pushing ahead with the polling.

Former President Mohammad Nasheed called for incumbent President Waheed to become "engaged" in the election process after meeting with the Elections Commissioner to discuss how to proceed with polling after two presidential candidates refused to sign all-important electoral lists.  Full story

News Analysis: Uncertainty still hangs on Maldives' fresh presidential polls on Saturday

MALE, Oct. 18 (Xinhua)-- There is still a cloud of uncertainty as to whether the fresh presidential polls scheduled for Saturday would push through after candidates continued their wrangling Friday, just a day before the actual balloting.

If the new polls would be postponed, it could plunge the idyllic Indian Ocean group of islands into another political deadlock.  Full story


 

Editor: Mengjie
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