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Elections Commission decries death threats

EC secretary-general was threatened by three masked men.



Members and staff are constantly facing threatening calls and messages over allegations of fraud and vote rigging, the Elections Commission decried Tuesday.

Complaints that could affect the outcome of the September 23 presidential election have not been lodged, the EC stressed in a statement, condemning efforts to question the credibility of the polls with “unsubstantiated allegations.”

Voting took place “in the presence of a record number of representatives of candidates, local and international observers and monitors” and the results were “endorsed by the candidates themselves, political parties as well as the international community.”

EC member Ahmed Akram told the Maldives Independent that three masked men threatened to kill the commission’s secretary-general on Monday night.

Solah Rasheed, who announced the official results on Saturday, was stopped on Lonuziyaaraiy Magu in Malé close to midnight while he was heading home.

The electoral body has been under fire from the ruling party over a leaked audio of a conversation between EC chief Ahmed Shareef and an unknown associate.

The Progressive Party of Maldives launched protests in the capital on Monday night. A week after conceding defeat, President Abdulla Yameen joined the gathering at the PPM office and urged supporters to continue protests until the EC addresses allegations of undue influence.

Yameen said he believes he would have received more than 96,000 votes (42 percent).

EC chief Shareef meanwhile denounced the leaked audio as doctored. Multiple phone conversations were recorded, “edited, dubbed, and reordered to bring out a certain meaning,” he said in a statement.

The ruling party protest continued Tuesday night. The president’s spokesman Ibrahim Muaz Ali and deputy home minister Ahmed Siddiq led the protest with about 100 people gathered outside the PPM office in Malé.