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Shredding of ballot papers were not unlawful: EC Chief

Ahmed Aiham
06 November 2018, MVT 22:14
Elections Commission President at a press conference. PHOTO: AHMED NISHAATH / MIHAARU
Ahmed Aiham
06 November 2018, MVT 22:14

Chief of Elections Commission (EC) Ahmed Shareef has revealed that the ballot papers of the presidential election were shredded after the period to retain the papers exceeded, and therefore reasoned that the shredding was not unlawful.

During a press conference held by the commission on Tuesday, Shareef stated that Maldives Fire and Rescue Service will be assigned the task of destroying the ballot papers of the presidential elections held on September 23.

Shortly after the conference, Shareef was summoned to the Police headquarters to be questioned following his announcement on the shredding of ballot papers.

According to a tweet by Shareef, Police have not yet announced whether the authority is investigating matters filed at a court over any error of the ballots and added that EC is currently unaware of any such cases.

Additionally, Shareef stated that the ballots were destroyed a week after the period allocated to retain the papers reached it's limit.

Ruling Progressive Party (PPM)'s Vice-President, Abdul Raheem Abdulla stated that the sudden destruction of ballot papers adds strength to the case of the alleged vote tampering filed at the Police.

Although PPM alleges foul play in the elections, the full bench of the Supreme Court had earlier unanimously ruled that there were no grounds to nullify the election.

Chief Justice Dr. Ahmed Abdulla, stated that an election in Maldives could only be nullified under circumstances that affect the results of the election.

Furthermore, the top court ruled that no sufficient evidence was submitted that indicated a change in the results of the election.

President-Elect Solih won the electoral race with a total of 134,616 votes, amounting to 58.4 percent of all voters. Incumbent President Yameen had a total of 96,132 votes, which is a percentage of 41.6 from all presidential election voters. This is the first time a presidential candidate was elected with such a sizeable lead.

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