Yameen’s Maldives election defeat plea hearing on Sunday
THE Maldives Supreme Court on Thursday announced it would examine President Abdulla Yameen’s challenge against his shock defeat at last month’s election and fixed a hearing for Sunday.
“The Supreme Court has decided to accept the constitutional dispute filed by President Yameen and it would be heard,” the court said on Twitter. The court announced the hearing date after meeting with the nation’s chief elections commissioner Ahmed Shareef. It later said a hearing will be held on Sunday at 1 pm.
Shareef told reporters in the capital Male that Yameen had called for an annulment of the results and a fresh election.
The US and the European Union had threatened sanctions if the vote was not free and fair and if Yameen, 59, did not accept the result.
Yameen, whose main political rivals were either in jail or in exile, was unexpectedly beaten in the September 23 election by unity opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, with 58.4 per cent of the vote.
Yameen had already conceded defeat and reluctantly said he would leave office in November, when his term ends. But he has been publicly urging his supporters to challenge the results.
Yameen’s lawyer Mohamed Saleem said on Wednesday that the decision to file the challenge came after receiving and reviewing numerous complaints by Yameen’s supporters. “So in light of that, President Yameen decided that the challenge must be filed for the rights of his supporters,” he added.
Hamid Abdul Ghafoor, spokesman for the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), said on Wednesday that the legal challenge was “an attempt by Yameen to create unrest”.
New President-elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (centre)