Former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, stated on Monday, that the destruction of the allegedly tampered ballots was a joint felony by the former opposition.
Speaking to the press during a ceremony held at the office of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) to distrubute the electoral tickets for the upcoming parliamentary elections, Yameen stated that the papers were destroyed amidst a case filed by PPM to Maldives Police Service, to shed light on the allegedly fraudulent ballot papers used in the election.
Furthermore, Yameen questioned the intent behind destroying the papers without any investigation by the Police. Adding that while the location of the ballot papers was kept under the protection of the police, there is still room for questions regarding the reason for the rushed destruction of the papers.
Yameen revealed that PPM did not get a response to the case submitted at the Prosecutor General (PG)'s Office calling for an investigation into the alleged vote fraud. Additionally, PPM's request for a meeting with the PG did not garner a response as well.
Chief of Elections Commission Ahmed Shareef, said that the ballots were destroyed a week after the period allocated to retain the papers reached its limit and therefore reasoned that the shredding was not unlawful.
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.
This is the first time the former President met with the press since he stepped down from his post following President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's inauguration on November 17, 2018.
President 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.