President Yameen Contests Election At Supreme Court; Joint Opposition Calls on Yameen to Make Way for a Smooth Transition, and Calls on All State Institution to Uphold the Will of the People

The ruling party, the PPM, has contested the results of the 23 September Presidential election at the Supreme Court. The election saw a decisive victory for joint opposition candidate, MP Ibrahim M. Solih, with a 38,000-vote margin, and over 58% of the vote. Voter- turnout was nearly 90%.

Yameen, the incumbent conceded defeat on 24 September. However, on October 1, President Yameen claimed electoral fraud, and called for continuous demonstration. Yameen claimed he had been robbed of his votes, through the Elections Commissioner’s foul play. The ruling party, with President Yameen at the helm, has since been staging protests calling for the annulment of the vote.

On Wednesday, 10 October, the party submitted a “constitutional case” to the apex court, with “numerous complaints from party supporters.”

The case was lodged by the President’s appointee at the judicial watchdog, the Judicial Services Commission, re- affirming alarming concerns about the lack of independence of the judiciary, and the judicial watchdog.

The Elections Commission has dismissed all accusations of wrong- doing, and pointed to the fact that there have been no complaints filed with the EC, that could challenge the outcome of the results.

The joint opposition lodged numerous complaints at the EC, during the process, including clear political bias in favour of Yameen. The ruling party, however, had not lodged a single complaint or raised a single issue, until a week after the votes were counted.

Yameen’s efforts to impose nullify the election through the Supreme Court is reminiscent of his coming to power in 2013. Yameen had come to power after the Supreme Court nullified two rounds of voting which had shown a clear lead for the then opposition candidate, President Mohamed Nasheed.

The Joint Opposition calls on Yameen to immediately withdraw this blatantly unsubstantiated case, and to step aside and to facilitate a peaceful, and smooth transition.

The Joint Opposition also calls on state institutions, including the Supreme Court, and the security forces to uphold the will of the people, and to ensure the lawful mandate handed to President- elect, Hon. Ibrahim M. Solih is not thwarted by the egregious maneuverings of the defeated candidate.

Maldivians used the ballot to defeat the dictatorial regime. Yameen must not be allowed to perverse the hard-won opportunity for all Maldivians to attain meaningful democracy and stability.