31 May 2018, Male’: MDP celebrates the astounding voter turnout of over 83% in yesterday’s Presidential Primary, despite immense challenges posed by the government to obstruct voting and to prevent the primary from taking place. Police obtained an order from the Civil Court, deemed invalid by the MDP as the order referred to a Maldives Democratic Party, and initiated a nationwide effort to stop the primaries an hour into the election. Police officers attempted to physically obstruct voting and took several MDP members into custody, and had removed ballot boxes from numerous stations. Voting had, however, continued with much fervor despite these attempts to obstruct and intimidate voters across the country, with members resorting to creative and humorous ways to ensure their votes were cast. Voting continued at 218 voting stations across the country and 6 stations overseas, with members casting votes until voting stations closed at midnight.
Preliminary results indicate that 44,011 members had cast their vote with 43,922 of votes in favor of Presidential Primary candidate President Mohamed Nasheed, 14 not in favor and 75 invalid ballots. MDP celebrates the perseverance, dedication and courage of members in ensuring voting proceeded in all voting stations and the creative solutions to all of the obstructions posed by the government that had once again proved MDP’s commitment to democracy and democratic processes.
MDP warmly congratulates President Mohamed Nasheed on this remarkable triumph and notes the creative campaign activities that had taken place across the country despite immense challenges and obstructions.
MDP calls on the government and the politically biased Elections Commission to cease immediately attempts to intimidate and obstruct political activity as well as to interfere in internal activities of opposition parties. MDP calls on the Elections Commission to direct its attention to ensuring a conducive environment for free and fair elections, and to build public confidence and trust in the Commission.
MDP calls for the immediate release of 22 party members taken into custody during police operations to stop the primary, and urges the government to refrain from engaging state institutions in illegal and unconstitutional acts which place them in embarrassing situations, exposing them to public ridicule as witnessed across the country yesterday.