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No obstructions to swearing in President-Elect Solih on Nov 11: EC

Fathmath Shaahunaz
21 October 2018, MVT 22:16
President-Elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. PHOTO/MIHAARU
Fathmath Shaahunaz
21 October 2018, MVT 22:16

Elections Commission (EC) on Sunday decided that there are no legal obstructions to holding President-Elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's oath-taking ceremony on November 11.

According to local media Mihaaru, the five members of the commission unanimously reached the decision after discussing a letter submitted by Solih's office regarding the swearing-in ceremony. EC member Ahmed Akram has confirmed the talks.

EC has informed Solih and the parliament of its decision.

The date for the oath-taking ceremony was in question since the outgoing President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom was sworn in on November 17, 2013, instead of November 11 which is the date slated for swearing in new president-elects in the Maldivian Constitution. President Yameen's swearing in ceremony was delayed as the Supreme Court had delayed the election twice in 2013 due to a number of electoral issues.

The EC had earlier consulted the Attorney General regarding the end of the presidential term in 2018. The AG Office responded that President Yameen's term began on the date he was sworn in, which was November 17, 2013, and thus his term would end on November 17 of this year.

However, EC's official documents on the presidential term of 2013 state that President Yameen's tenure began on November 11 of that year, in accordance with the Constitution. November 11 is also the date stated as the end of the presidential term, in the calendar created for the 2018 election.

Hence EC has deemed that there are no legal obstructions to prevent Solih from being sworn in on November 11 this year.

Solih beat President Yameen in the election held September 23 by a wide margin of 38,000 votes. While the outgoing president had filed at the Supreme Court accusing the EC of committing election fraud and seeking to cancel the results, the court ruled on Sunday that there were no grounds to nullify the election.