Yameen’s Mal­dives elec­tion de­feat plea hear­ing on Sun­day

Financial Chronicle - - AROUND THE GLOBE - AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

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)

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