The Supreme Court of Maldives on Sunday rejected outgoing President Abdulla Yameen’s petition to annul the results of the September 23 presidential elections, Reuters reported. Yameen had alleged fraud, vote rigging, malpractice and corruption during the September 23 presidential elections, and had urged for fresh elections.
The five-judge Supreme Curt bench ruled that Yameen had failed to prove his claim, according to AFP.
On September 30, the island nation’s Election Commission declared Opposition leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih the winner, six days after Yameen – whose five-year term ends on November 17 – conceded defeat.
But he later filed a “constitutional case after reviewing a number of complaints from his supporters about the result of the vote” and had also urged supporters to protest the outcome. He claimed election officials had used “disappearing ink”, pen rings and fraudulent ballot papers to rig the polls in Solih’s favour, according to Al Jazeera. Four of the five-member Election Commission were reportedly forced to flee after the polls because of the threats they faced from Yameen’s supporters.
“The court said there was no evidence to substantiate these [Yameen’s] claims,” lawyer Safa Shareef, who was present at the hearing on Sunday, said. “The judges also said they could not annul the election result as none of these claims could affect the result of the elections.”
Four of the five members of the Election Commission fled after the election, citing intimidation by Yameen’s supporters.
The outgoing president had announced the election months after a state of emergency declared by him threw the island nation into a political crisis. In February, Yameen imposed the emergency after the Supreme Court reversed criminal convictions against nine of his opponents. The emergency proclamation, which stayed in place for 45 days, strained New Delhi’s ties with the country.