Male, October 11 (The Edition/AVAS/newsin.asia): The Maldivian Supreme Court Wednesday night admitted the constitutional case filed by President Abdulla Yameen against the validity of the September 23 Presidential election results.
According to Chief Elections Commissioner, Ahmed Shareef, the Supreme Court had held a preliminary hearing on Thursday where the Elections Commission was asked to respond before 11 am on Saturday.
Shareef said that President Yameen had asked the Supreme Court to annul the election claiming electoral violations.
“We are working to respond as soon as possible. Our lawyers are working on it as we speak,” Shareef told AVAS.
Yameen, candidate of the ruling Progressive Party of the Malidves (PPM) lost the election by a margin of 16 percent to the Joint Opposition candidate, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, in an outcome hailed as a win for democracy in the crisis-hit archipelago.
The result was widely accepted, including by the United States, China, India, and the European Union and the election was hailed as having been free and fair.
Shareef and Ahmed Akaram told the media that the voting was transparent and that complaints had been few. To Yameen’s charge that votes for him had been annulled by an ingenious method, Shareef said that this was baseless. And at any rate, only 3132 votes had been invalid, which could not have changed the overall result, he said.
Yameen conceded defeat a day after the election but has since alleged widespread irregularities in the vote.
He filed the case based on statements regarding the polling that were made by his supporters.
After the case was submitted, the attorney to the President and his representative on the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), Mohamed Saleem stated that numerous concerns were raised by the supporters of PPM, and that the decision to file the case was made in consideration of their statements.
The PPM also released a press statement the same day, stating that various issues concerning the September 23 presidential election were brought forth by observers, monitors and other unidentified entities, to the ruling party.
“Based on these complaints, we as a party believe that, if there may be grounds to assert the loss of the party’s electoral rights of Presidential candidate and running mate, then the case must be filed”.
The PPM also declared that it decided to file the case at both the High Court and Supreme Court, in response to a statement made by the Maldives Police Service.
The opposition candidate, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, won the presidential election with 134,705 votes in his favor, a pronounced lead of over 38,000 votes against President Yameen who received 96,052 votes, marking the widest margin in a presidential election in Maldives to date.
(The featured image at the top shows President Yameen addresses followers in pouring rain: Photo.Avas)