Skip to main content

Maldives Elections Commission admits Thimarafushi ballot box results sheet illegal

Elections Commissioner - Mohamed Ibrahim

Maldives Elections Commission today admitted in High Court that the elections results sheet of the Thimarafushi ballot box was not in accordance with the Elections Regulation. A court hearing was held today for judges to obtain clarifications of issues in the ongoing High Court case of the Thimarafushi parliamentary vote. Today’s hearing, called for by the High Court, dealt with only matters relating to statements by the Elections Commission.

High Court Judge Ali Hameed specifically questioned the Elections Commission on irregularities in signatures on the elections results sheet, irregularities in the handover process of the ballot box to Elections Commission officials and on the issue of 115 ballot papers that were missing from the box. On all three issues, the Elections Commission admitted that violations of the regulations had occured.

On the first issue, the Elections Commission admitted that the elections results sheet was in contravention of the Elections Regulation, as it only contained signatures of only two officials. According to the regulations, it must be signed by three officials.

On the second issue too, the Commission admitted that the ballot box had not been sealed when it was handed over to Elections Commission officials in charge of delivering it to the Commission. The law and regulations requires that the ballot box must be sealed in the presence of officials and observers at the ballot counting station after ballot counting had finishes. Today, the Commission admitted that a) the box had been open when it was handed over its officials for transport, b) it had not been at the ballot counting station but at the Thimarafushi Island Office; and 3) that when its transport officials went to collect it, only one individual had been with the open ballot box.

When questioned by the court judge as to whether these were against the law, Deputy Elections Commissioner Hussain Siraj replied that the regulations did not state that more than one individual should look after the ballot box. However, when questioned further, Siraj was forced to concede that indeed the issues raised by the court were indeed against the law.

Upon close questioning, Hussain Siraj was also forced to admit that the 155 ballot papers missing from the ballot box had disappeared before the ballot box had reached the Commission. Hussain Siraj is one of the lead lawyers of President Mohamed Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party. Siraj has represented the MDP in several court cases. He was recently appointed to the Elections Commission, in place of Commissioner Shahid. Commissioner Shahid, a top official in the MDP, resigned recently saying that his wife, President Nasheed’s cousin Eva Abdulla, was contesting the parliamentary elections as an MDP candidate.

The court questioned whether the Elections Commission had made any effort to find out what had happened to the 115 ballots that were missing. The Commission lawyer replied that the Maldives Police Service was investigating the matter and that the investigation had not yet finished. Previously, Commisioner Siraj had testified in the High Court that the missing ballots would not change the elections results. However, another Commissioner, Mahir, had given a statement to press that since the ballots were missing it was clear that there needed to be a fresh vote in Thimarafushi. A third Commissioner, Fuad Thowfeeq, had given a statement to press that the missing ballots were empty ballots but could not clarify how the Commission knew this. Fuad Thowfeeq too is a leading MDP member who previously headed a MDP technical committee.

In the provisional results announced by the Commission for Thimarafushi, the MDP candidate Thimarafushi Musthafa lead DRP candidate Ghassan Maumoon by about 100 votes. Submitting evidence such as above, Ghassan Maumoon has requested the High Court to declare the Thimarafushi result invalid and to order the Elections Commission to hold a fresh vote in his constituency. Witnesses who testified in favor of Ghassan Maumoon have been victimized with arson attacks and personal attacks. One witnesses house was burned down immediately after she gave testimony in Ghassam Maumoon’s favour. The MDP candidate Thimarafushi Musthafa is the well known gang lord and loan shark who ran the notorious Mercury Light CafĂ© the hideout of MDP thugs in Male’.

Popular posts from this blog

#Maldives: 24 years after Nov 3 massacre: Are the terrorists back masquerading as a political party? Part 1

#Maldives: November 3rd, 2012 marks the 24th anniversary of the bloody massacre that left the blackest of stains on Maldivian hearts and history. Nineteen innocent Maldivians were slaughtered and several injured. Hundreds were held at gunpoint for hours, many later taken away as hostages. Immense damage was given to public and private property. Maldives was rescued by troops sent by Indian Premier Rajiv Gandhi. The leader of the failed coup was a man called Sikka Ahmed Ismail Maniku, a man who had previous convictions for coup attempts against previous governments. The coup leader's nephew, Mohamed Nasheed, was installed as President in 2008, at the head of a political party whose top leadership comprised of family members and others involved in the 1988 November 3 massacre.

Nasheed's cabinet, senior political advisors and state ministers included terrorists convicted for their involvement in the November 3 massacre. As Nasheed denounces the current government of Dr. Mohamed W…

#Maldives: A Victim of Indian Foreign Policy? Nov 3, 1988 terrorist attack and GMR in perspective.

#Maldives: As November 3, 2012, the 24th anniversary of the terrorist attack on Maldives approaches, public sentiment against the Indian multinational GMR's lease of the Maldives' international airport has gained momentum. Inflammatory speeches by local politicians and local media reports associate the GMR-MACL lease agreement on a scale with the November 3rd 1988 terrorist attack. The 1988 terror attack was by a group of Maldivians headed by Sikka Ahmed Ismail Maniku (uncle of former President Nasheed) who brought 80 Tamil mercenaries to overthrow the government of the time. India's role then was that of the knight in shining armor, the Indian military and navy charging to the rescue in Operation Cactus. Nineteen people were killed in the terror attack.

Amidst the increasingly strident calls on the Maldivian Government to "throw GMR out" and to recapture the "Maldivians' airport for Maldivians", Maldivian commentators on social media question the I…

The Quality of Political Appointees in the Nasheed Administration

As almost seven months pass since President Mohamed Nasheed took power in the Maldives, Maldivian citizens despair of ever seeing the much promised improvements in their livelihoods. The state treasury has been exhausted within this brief period, and the economy has declined to an extent worse than the aftermath of the 2004 Asian Tsunami. Escalating price of consumer goods, collapse of social services, increasing food insecurity and declining real income have thrown more people below the poverty line. While President Nasheed is engrossed in his hate and persecution campaign against political opponents, his government has ground to a halt.

The Nasheed administration came into power promising reduced expenditures, increased government revenue and a clamp down on corruption in top government circles. President Nasheed’s first budget (2009) has a 7 billion deficit (nearly 5 billion more than the previous administration’s last budget, and government revenue has fallen by more than 28% since…