At least 3 arrested as voters break open ballot boxes

Screen grab from video footage of disturbance in GDh. Thinadhoo during the MDP presidential primary on January 28, 2023.

Police arrested at least three people on Saturday, after voting in the MDP presidential primary erupted into violence in several polling stations, where voters broke open ballot boxes and tore up ballot papers.

A police spokesperson confirmed the arrest of three male suspects for damaging ballot boxes. Two of the suspects were arrested from GDh. Rathafandhoo, and one from GDh. Thinadhoo.

The two arrested from Rathafandhoo were observers representing MDP’s leader and Parliament speaker Mohamed Nasheed.

Meanwhile, the suspect arrested from Thinadhoo had been involved in the disturbance at the polling station in Aboobakr School. South Thinadhoo MP Abdulla Sanoof had been assaulted in the incident.

The highly contentious primary sees President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Nasheed compete for the party’s presidential ticket.

Disturbances have been reported in several polling stations across Maldives over allegations of fraud, including cases of unregistered voters casting votes.