MALE: The Supreme Court of the Maldives on Sunday upheld the results of last month`s presidential election in a unanimous judgment after President Abdulla Yameen challenged his own defeat in the poll. Supporters of Yameen, who initially conceded defeat to joint opposition leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, said the vote had been rigged and that some of the ballot papers were fraudulent.
The judgment said that Yameen had not been able to prove that electoral fraud had taken place and that any issues with the voting process would not have affected the result given the margin of Solih`s victory. Yameen, a hardliner who jailed many of his political opponents including his own half-brother during his presidency, filed the petition in the Supreme Court on October 10.
The official count of the Sept. 23 poll showed joint opposition leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih had won a surprise victory by a margin of 16.8 per cent. “The court rules that there is no legal or constitutional basis to question the legality of the election based on the evidence submitted to this court,” said Chief Justice Dr. Ahmed Abdulla Didi, on behalf of the five justices hearing the petition.