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Election was not obstructed by entire police institution: PIC

Maldives on 05 November 2013
Location : Maldives | Source : Sun.mv Image Source: Sun.mv

The Police Integrity Commission (PIC) has said that the election scheduled for 19 October was not obstructed by the entire police institution, and decided to press criminal charges against the police officer in charge of maintaining security near Elections Commission on the morning of 19 October.

Elections Commission cancelled the election on 19 October, and accused the police of having obstructed the efforts to hold the election.

PIC said in a report published today that at 5:00 a.m. on 19 October, officials of Elections Commission tried to take the attendance sheets of their officials involved in the election from the Elections Commission to Dharubaaruge, but were told by the police officer in charge of maintaining security near Elections Commission at the time, that the sheets cannot be taken out of the Elections Commission.

The report states that the police officer had not been asked to obstruct the Elections Commission officials in this manner by his superiors.

PIC said that their investigation revealed that this obstructed the Elections Commission’s efforts to hold the election, and claimed that the purpose of the police officer’s actions was to obstruct a State employee from carrying out his duties. 

PIC said that it has thus decided to forward a case to the Prosecutor General’s Office to press criminal charges against the police officer.

The nine-page report states that the officer in charge of maintaining security has said that he was ordered to disallow Elections Commission officials from taking any material out of the commission.

PIC said that meanwhile, Head of Elections Internal Security, Superintendent of Police Abdulla Shareef has said that the officials were told, in line with the advice of Operations Commander Assistant Commissioner of Police Ahmed Saudi, that the transport of all material from the Elections Commission must be carried out with the assistance and cooperation of the police, and that they were not told that the material cannot be taken out of the Elections Commission.

PIC said that there is no evidence to support the claim that Saudi ordered to obstruct the efforts to take the material out of the Elections Commission; moreover, Commissioner of Police Abdulla Riyaz has said that no orders or instructions were given to obstruct the election on 19 October.

PIC said that the events that transpired on 19 October cannot be deemed as efforts by the entire police institution to obstruct the election, and noted that the police and the Elections Commission managed to resolve several problems that arose during their interactions.

PIC said that the President of Elections Commission was asked to contact the Commissioner of Police directly in the event of a problem, however, the Commissioner of Police was not contacted by any senior official of the Elections Commission on the morning of 19 October.

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