Maldivian Supreme Court directs security forces to stop any attempts to go ahead with the polls against its orders
Male: Maldives’ election commission on Friday halted preparations for the presidential run-off scheduled for Saturday after the Supreme Court directed security forces to stop any attempts to go ahead with the polls against its orders.
Election commission of Maldives chief Fuwad Taufeeq’s statement saying that the panel would go ahead with the run-off despite the Supreme Court order to postpone it had sparked confusion.
In an interview to Minivan News, Taufeeq said, “We don’t believe any organisation or institution can overshadow the constitution. So we are working as per the constitution. I am trying to fulfil the national duty of the election commission. I don’t want to leave room for those who break laws and the constitution."
After the election commission chief’s statement, the Supreme Court directed security forces to implement its orders and thwart any attempts to go ahead with the polls, local daily Haveeru reported.
The latest orders of the Supreme Court prompted the election commission to halt its plans to go ahead with the second round of presidential elections.
“The commission was only working towards holding run-off expecting the verdict on the case to come at any time. However, after the latest order of the highest court, all preparations for the run-off have now been halted," vice-president of the commission Ahmed Fayaz Hassan was quoted as saying by the daily.
Maldivian Democratic Party leader Mohammed Nasheed who led the first round with over 45% votes, has to face in the second round the Progressive Party of Maldives candidate Abdullah Yameen who was the runner up in the first phase held on 7 September.
According to the Maldivian constitution, it is mandatory that a run-off election takes place within 21 days of a first round if no candidate gains more than 50% of the vote. The run-off takes place between top two vote garnering candidates.
The Supreme Court on Monday had postponed the second round indefinitely on the plea of Jumhooree Party (JP) which stood third and missed the chance of a run-off with Nasheed in the second round by a whisker.
The Supreme Court orders came within hours of Majlis, Maldivian Parliament, passed a resolution in which it called upon all the state institutions to ensure that the second round takes place as scheduled on Saturday.
India and other international agencies including the United Nations which were part of over 100 international observers have appealed to all parties to respect the will of people expressed through results. India has asked all sides to respect the verdict and aspirations of the people of Maldives.
The political scene in the archipelago nation has been in a state of flux since February 2012 when Nasheed, the country’s first democratically elected president, was forced to resign in duress. He was succeeded by his Vice-President Mohammed Waheed. PTI