The preliminary result of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s presidential primary was announced early Thursday morning.
The results showed party leader and former President Mohamed Nasheed, who was also the sole candidate in the primary, won MDP’s presidential primary by a vast majority.
Since Nasheed was the only candidate competing in the primary, the country-wide vote carried out by the party was a ‘yes-or-no’ vote.
According to the party, while a total of 44,011 people voted in the primary, 43,922 people voted in favor of Nasheed, 14 people voted against him and 75 people’s votes were invalid. Hence, Nasheed won the primary by 99.8 percent votes.
More than 200 ballot boxes were set up throughout the country and abroad, with seven boxes in capital Male’ city alone, and others in Sri Lanka, some cities in India, Malaysia and the United Kingdom.
Police attempted to stop the primary with a court order after voting began at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday. Police entered places where the ballot boxes were set up in Male’ and took it away, and also obstructed voters in the islands.
MDP said the government’s attempt to hinder the party’s primary voting failed. The members of the party stepped up when the police stopped the voting and took the ballot boxes away by continuing the voting process in other ways and ending the primary successfully, the party said.
MDP also said that the although police attempted to stop the voting armed with a court order issued by Civil Court, they were unable to do it.
When the police tried stopping the primary voting on Wednesday, Nasheed’s campaign manager Mohamed Aslam stated the government’s actions are abhorrent and in clear violation of the rights given to the people in the Constitution. Aslam said police can stop the people and even harm them physically, but they can never stop their beliefs.
The party’s Chairperson Hassan Latheef said the order issued by Civil Court was addressed to ‘Maldives Democratic Party’. However, there is no party by that name and MDP did not receive a copy of the court order, he said.
When MDP announced that they have accepted Nasheed’s candidacy, Elections Commission stated that Nasheed cannot compete in the primary as he is serving a prison sentence and will take action against the party if they carry out the primary election with Nasheed.