Maldives president calls for protests over alleged vote rigging

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Oct 02, 2018, 06:01 PM(IST)

File photo: Former Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen. Photograph:( Reuters )

A week afterlosing the elctions, Maldives President Abdulla Yameen called for nationwide protests over alleged vote rigging until the Elecion Commission addresses the situation, reports said.

Results from Sunday's election released by the electoral commission showed Yameen on 41.7 per cent of the vote, well behind Solih on 58.3 per cent -- the only other name on ballot papers. 

There had been concerns at home and abroad that Yameen might not accept the outcome. He had borrowed hundreds of millions of dollars from China for an infrastructure blitz, to the alarm of the Maldives' traditional backer India.

The result was a major surprise, with Yameen's main political rivals either in prison or in exile, media coverage of the opposition sparse and monitors and the opposition predicting the vote would be rigged.

At two press briefings earlier in the day, Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) lawmakers called on the electoral body to address concerns and demanded answers.

But neither the president nor the lawmakers made any specific allegations about electoral fraud or vote rigging.

The president reportedly suggested rings were used.

Meanwhile, an anti-money laundering body in the Maldives has informed police that President Abdulla Yameen received 22.5 million Maldivian rufiyaa ($1.5m) in hard currency days in advance of a contentious presidential election in the Indian Ocean island nation.

As per Al Jazeera the president received the money in two instalments to a private bank account at the Maldives Islamic Bank.

The document from the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), an agency under the Maldives' central bank, was dated September 13 and was addressed to Acting Commissioner of Police Abdulla Nawaz.

In the letter, the FIU said a third party deposited US $648,508 in hard currency into the president's account on September 5. Another US $810,635 was deposited to the same account on September 10. 

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