Unsigned ‘Supreme Court order’: No second round today

The Maldives Supreme Court has issued an order scheduling the presidential election run-off for 16 November. The 4-page order is unsigned, and was published on the Court’s website around 5:30 this morning.

One of the main reasons the Elections Commission cited for holding the second round today is that the country will fall into a Constitutional void if there is no elected leader by midnight tonight, when the current presidential term expires. This, however, says the ‘Supreme Court order’, is not a valid reason because the Court itself has offered a solution: continue the government of Waheed Hassan Manik under what it says is the ‘State of Necessity principle’ (42/SC-C/2013). The ‘Supreme Court order’ also refers to its own decision to rule as invalid the Majlis resolution of October 27 to install Speaker Abdulla Shahid as the president if there is no elected leader by 11 November.

There is absolutely no reason why any State institution or citizen should obey the contents of this letter.  It bears an official stamp of the Supreme Court but no signature. It is also blatantly against all Constitutional stipulations regarding the people’s right to elect a leader of their choice. The first round was held yesterday with the following results:

Source: mvdemocracy.com Source: mvdemocracy.com

Before the election all three candidates agreed to hold the second round today, 10 November. The Elections Commission, which the Constitution puts in charge of all elections in the country, is ready. The people, from whom all powers of the State are derived, are ready. State security services must, if they are to uphold the Constitution, give the people due protection as they exercise their right to vote. The Elections Commission, led by Fuwad Thowfeek and his team, has said polls will open at 11:00 a.m. across the country.

Everyone should turn up to vote. The contents of an anonymous letter, under whatever name it is written, should not have any authority over us. The Constitution lays out in detail how we agreed to be governed. Any order outside of it is void ab initio.

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