Police Block Maldives Presidential Vote

Police in the Maldives blocked re-scheduled presidential elections on Saturday, bringng further upheaval to the Indian Ocean nation.

Reuters reports that the Maldives

“The police are in control of this country. This is a coup,” Reuters reports 33-year-old Ahmed Khalid, an artist at a protest staged by Nasheed supporters, as saying.

Elections Commissioner Fuwad Thowfeek told reporters, “We are very much concerned about what is going on in this country. The Supreme Court decision does not ask police officers to look into the voters’ list and check what is there.”

“They kind of think they can be our bosses and we are an institution below them, and that they can dictate to us and control us,” Thowfeek said.

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Police defended the officers’ actions, saying that guidelines set by the Supreme Court hadn’t been followed, because not all three of the presidential candidates had signed the voters’ list.  In the election, Nasheed of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) is facing two candidates connected to the former dictator, one from the Jumhooree Party and the other from the Progressive Party of Maldives, as the Independent reports:

The Independent continues:

“When Nasheed, me and three others sat on protest in 2007, we did not think one day there will be democracy in Maldives,” The Hindu reports cartoonist and MDP supporter Ahmed Abbas as saying. 

“We cannot be stopped,” Abbas said. “We will prevail. The people will win, regardless of however long the struggle takes.”

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