SC directs EC to produce voter list details in Maldives

Last Updated: Thursday, September 19, 2013 - 20:33

Male: Maldives Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Election Commission to produce the list of eligible voters and voters who cast their ballots in the first round of presidential polls held on September 7.

"The Supreme Court ruled today for the Election Commission to submit the eligible voters list of 2013 and list of voters who voted in first phase of the elections," Media Secretary to President`s Office, Masood Imad said.

The directives were issued after three days of hearing by the full bench on the plea of Jumhooree Party (JP) which sought an injunction to annul the polls.

Candidate of JP, business tycoon Gasim Ibrahim missed the runner-up position and a chance to face former President Mohammed Nasheed in the second round polls on September 28 by a whisker.

Ibrahim stood third with 24.07 per cent while Progressive Party of Maldives candidate Abdullah Yameen became runner up by garnering 25.35 per cent of votes. Yameen would face Nasheed who got over 45 per cent of votes in second round.

Not satisfied with the results, JP approached Supreme Court alleging voters` list included bogus voters, repetition of names and inclusion of dead voters in the list.

These allegations have been strongly refuted by the Election Commission which said even if the discrepancies in the voter list were factual they would not have any material effect on the results declared in the first round.

They have also cited positive response received from independent observers who have gathered in the archipelago nation to monitor the polling.

Meanwhile, Commonwealth Secretary-General`s Special Envoy Sir Donald McKinnon said the election marked a renewal of the country`s democratic credentials, with an 88 per cent voter turnout. This displays a determination to get the country back on to a sound democratic foundation, he added.

"There are always losers in every election everywhere, but the winners here must be the people of Maldives. The results of their votes must be paramount to the process and the result," he said.

Earlier, Transparency Maldives which monitored polls as independent observer said it did not find any evidence that support allegations of systematic election day fraud during the nation-wide observation.

It appealed to "all actors and institutions to refrain from undermining the integrity of and confidence in the election day processes without credible evidence of fraud."

India and other international agencies including the UN 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.

"We hope that the second round of Presidential elections will be held as scheduled on September 28, 2013 in a similar transparent, organised and peaceful manner," a spokesperson of the Indian External Affairs Ministry had said yesterday.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, September 19, 2013 - 20:33

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