The Supreme Court has annulled the first round of the presidential election held on 7 September, and ordered to hold the first round again before 20 October.
The ruling, supported by four out of the seven judges of the court, also states that the second round must be held before 3 November.
The court said that several citizens were denied their basic right to vote, guaranteed by the Constitution, in the first round of the presidential election.
The court found irregularities in 5,623 votes, and provided details of these irregularities in its ruling.
The court said that the voters’ lists used at the presidential election were checked by Police Forensic Service officials, in the presence of Supreme Court officials.
The court said that the Elections Commission issued a confidential circular close to the date of the election, stating that a person should be allowed to vote even if the number on his identity card does not match the identity card number on the voters’ list, as long as the name and address on the person’s identity card match the name and address on the voters’ list.
The court ruled that votes cast in this manner are invalid.
The court also issued several guidelines to be followed by the Elections Commission for the next election.
The court ordered the Elections Commission to confirm that the list provided by the Department of National Registration does not contain names of minors (below 18).
The court ordered the Elections Commission to place a separate ballot box for people registered with the Male’ Municipality Register.
The court ordered the Elections Commission to ensure that the officials at ballot boxes are free from political influence, and to ensure that the officials are accepted by all presidential election candidates.
The court ordered the Elections Commission to take measures to confirm that voters do not carry any items other than pens to the ballot station.
The court ordered the Elections Commission to inform people queuing up to vote their token numbers every thirty minutes.
The court ordered the Elections Commission to cancel the ballot papers printed for the previous election, and to re-print ballot papers equipped with security features.
The court ordered the Elections Commission to hold discussions with other relevant State institutions on the guidelines issued by the court, within 72 hours of the court issuing its verdict on this case.
Referring to the Elections Commission’s claim that the election must be held within the period stated in the Constitution, the court said that if illegal activities are carried out during an election, additional time will be required to address those issues.
The court said that failure to elect a president by 11 November does not mean that the present government will come to an end on that date.
The four judges who supported the decision to annul the result of the first round of the presidential election are Abdulla Saeed, Adam Mohamed Abdulla, Ali Hameed Mohamed and Dr Ahmed Abdulla Didi.
The three judges who voted against this decision are Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz Hussain, Abdulla Areef and Ahmed Mu’uthasim Adnan.
Chief Justice Faiz and Areef said in their judgment that as per the law, this case should have been filed to High Court and not the Supreme Court.
Mu’uthasim said in his judgment that the Elections Commission worked according to the procedures stipulated in the law.
Ahmed Saail Ali, from Elections Commission area
The Elections Commission has held discussions with its legal team following the Supreme Court decision to annul the election result. The three members of the commission who participated in the meeting are President of the Elections Commission Fuad Thaufeeg, Vice President of the Elections Commission Ahmed Fayaz Hassan, and Member of the Elections Commission Ahmed Ali Manik.
The legal team was headed by lawyer Siraj.
When questions were posed by Sun Online as he left Ports Complex, where the Elections Commission is located, Fuad refused to reply, citing that it is ‘too late in the night’.
A meeting is under way by members of the Elections Commission, following the Supreme Court verdict annulling the result of the first round of the presidential election. Secretary General of the Elections Commission Asim Abdul Sattar told Sun Online that the discussions are focused on how the commission should proceed following the court ruling.
Media Secretary at the President’s Office, Masood Imad has said that President Waheed will announce his decision tomorrow, on whether to contest in the first round of the presidential election. Masood said that the government will fully implement the Supreme Court verdict, and cooperate with the efforts to hold the election re-run as ordered by the court.
MP Alhan Fahmy says they will win the election 'outright'.
Whenever the election takes place , we win Ebburun Insha Allah.— Alhan Fahmy (@FahmyAlhan) October 7, 2013
The Supreme Court said in its ruling that votes were cast under the names of 718 dead people and 7 children; while 225 people who did not have identity cards, 2,630 people whose permanent addresses did not match, and 819 people whose identity cards did not match, also voted.
MDP Parliamentary Group Leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih told Sun Online that MDP will comment on the Supreme Court ruling after a meeting of the party leadership tomorrow.
The four judges who supported the ruling are Abdulla Saeed, Ali Hameed, Adam Mohamed, and Dr Ahmed Abdulla Didi.
Mohamed Junaid, near FDI Station
Vice presidential candidate of MDP, Dr Musthafa Luthfee has said that he accepts the court ruling, and that when the election is held again, MDP will gain over 50 percent of votes in the first round.
He has now left the FDI Station area with some MDP supporters.
The court detailed in its ruling that efforts to hold the election again must commence within 72 hours of the verdict being delivered.
In an interview to DhiTV, vice presidential candidate of PPM, Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed expressed support for the Supreme Court decision, and said that the Elections Commission is not capable of holding a free and fair election.
He said that the Elections Commission members should resign, and accused them of having committed a serious crime.
The guidelines issued by the Supreme Court state that the officials at the ballot boxes should not belong to any one party, rather, they should be accepted by all parties.
An individual has been arrested near FDI Station.
Speaking at a meeting at Kunooz, presidential candidate of Jumhooree Party (JP) Gasim Ibrahim has congratulated Supreme Court judges following this decision.
Vice President of the Elections Commission Ahmed Fayaz refused to comment on the court verdict.
The ruling further details that the ballot papers must be reprinted with a security feature, and that several guidelines must be followed.
The court has also ordered to hold the first round of the presidential election before 20 October, and the second round before 3 November.
The court said that fraud was committed for 5,623 votes.
The Supreme Court has announced its verdict, to annul the first round of the presidential election held on 7 September, and to hold the first round again.
This decision was supported by four out of the seven judges of the Supreme Court.
Medhu-Henveiru MP Ali Azim is speaking at the MDP protest. He is instructing protesters to push the police barricades forward, and move forward.
Mohamed Junaid, near FDI Station
Security has been tightened at the Supreme Court area. The roads leading up to the court, as well as the roads surrounding Republic Square, have been cordoned off. MDP continues to protest near FDI Station.
This hearing to deliver a verdict on the election case is likely to last about one hour, as the seven judges of the Supreme Court are required to present their judgements individually.
The hearing has commenced.
All 60 attendees have now entered the Supreme Court.
About 60 people, including media officials, had signed up to attend tonight’s session.
More than 14 witnesses provided statements in court for this case filed on 15 September 2013. The most common claim by witnesses was that more than one vote were cast under the same person’s name. The final hearing was held on 25 September.
The hearing to deliver a verdict has been scheduled 22 days after the case was filed to court. The court accepted the case filed on 15 September, on 16 September.
The session has not yet commenced.
President of Elections Commission Fuad Thaufeeg, Vice President of Elections Commission Ahmed Fayaz, officials of JP and State prosecutors have arrived at Supreme Court.
Preparations are under way as attendees start entering the courtroom, for the Supreme Court hearing to deliver a verdict on the case filed by Jumhooree Party (JP).
JP has asked the court to annul the first round results of the presidential election, based on alleged irregularities surrounding the election.
The court initially scheduled this hearing for 2:30 p.m., then postponed it to 5:00 p.m., before announcing the decision to schedule it for 8:00 p.m. tonight.