360° Coverage : Maldives military to deliver ballot boxes for election

Maldives military to deliver ballot boxes for election

Male, Oct 25 (IANS) The Maldivian military has agreed to deliver ballot boxes ahead of next month's presidential re-vote, following police's blocking of the polling last week over the issue, media reported Friday.

Oct 25 2013, 12:22pm CDT | by IANS

Maldives military to deliver ballot boxes for election
Photo Credit: , Getty Images

Male, Oct 25 — The Maldivian military has agreed to deliver ballot boxes ahead of next month's presidential re-vote, following police's blocking of the polling last week over the issue, media reported Friday.

Meanwhile, the office of former president and front runner in the due presidential election Mohamed Nasheed said Friday that Al Qaeda agents were threatening his life, Xinhua reported.

Nasheed bagged 45.45 percent of the vote in the first round of presidential election Sep 7 but the results were annulled by the Supreme Court this month after two other candidates alleged vote rigging. However, international monitors said the vote was free and fair.

In a statement, Nasheed's office said two Al Qaeda agents have been put on the job for an attack on the ex-president and they are currently in Male, Haveeru online reported.

Nasheed has already insisted that he has "no faith" in the process and called for President Mohammed Waheed to resign and hand over control to the parliament's speaker to oversee a smooth transition of power.

On Oct 19, the Maldivian police had blocked voting by declining to deliver the ballot boxes.

According to Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim, the military will now provide assistance to the Elections Commission in transporting ballot boxes to some 200 islands for the presidential re-vote Nov 9, Xinhua reported.

The minister, however, insisted that the military will play no part in maintaining security at polling stations.

Nazim, the government's representative for the polls, said maintaining security during the election was the responsibility of police.

"The present plan is both police and the military will provide assistance to the Elections Commission to transport ballot boxes to the islands. So the Elections Commission will have our assistance for the transportation that will be required for the polls. But maintaining security is the responsibility of the police," Nazim was quoted as saying, according to Haveeru daily.

Military spokesperson Colonel Abdu Raheem denied any discussions with the Elections Commission for signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) over the transportation arrangements.

The calendar issued by the commission for the polls had included an MoU to be signed with the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) Oct 27 regarding sea travel to the islands in connection with the elections.

"We will provide whatever assistance we can. But no agreement has been reached over specific areas of assistance. Timeline includes the signing of an MoU. However, we have been unable to confirm the details of it," Abdu Raheem said.

Maldives will make a third attempt to elect a president Nov 9 ahead of the Nov 11 constitutional deadline.

However, deep political infighting between presidential candidates, the Supreme Court and police have hampered the political process fuelling fears of continued unrest.

IANS

Source: IANS

 
 
 

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