The Elections Commission has ordered police to stop voting in the presidential primary of the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party, it was confirmed Wednesday.
A police source, who wished to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak to the media, told the Maldives Independent that the EC wants to stop the “unlawful” primary.
Mihaaru reported that the EC sent a letter to police Tuesday, declaring the MDP primary unlawful if it went ahead with former president Mohamed Nasheed’s participation.
“We request the police to stop unlawful events by the MDP and urge the institution to take action against them,” the letter read.
The president’s office, in a cryptic tweet, said police were tasked with law enforcement and not wondering who would next be in power.
In a related development the Attorney General’s office asked the Civil Court for a warrant to stop the primary, hours before voting was due to begin.
The AG’s office took the step following requests by the police and home ministry after the EC urged them to stop the primary, Avas reported.
The EC has already threatened to dissolve the MDP. It maintains that Nasheed, who was sentenced to 13-years in prison after a controversial and widely criticised trial, does not qualify as a presidential candidate.
But the MDP says it is not the EC’s duty to determine the candidates and primary processes of political parties.
Voting kicked off at 2pm, with no violence or obstruction reported despite the threats, and closes at midnight.
There were around 20 people at Sosun Magu, near the MDP office in Malé. Policemen rode past on motorbikes, taking photographs of those gathered there.
Nasheed is running unopposed, hoping the primary will act as a show of strength and support that will help secure his candidacy.
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Source URL: Maldives Independent