What do people do when their election has been stolen?
Some resort to subtle irony: instead of spending Saturday as he’d hoped, supporting the yellow party (MDP) at the polling booth, Alibe sits outside his yellow house weaving a new seat for his joli with yellow rope, but wearing a pink shirt, the colour of the party in power. The message is not lost on those who pass by.
As police in Male’ block protest marches and barricade the Electoral Commission so that they can’t proceed with the election, protestors hold up mirrors to help them reflect on their actions and see what they look like from the other side.
Some make artistic statements: the Male’ surfing community built tottering coral towers on the sea walls as a symbol of how fragile democracy can be.
Somewhat less subtle symbols are the many pairs of large white underpants being waved around. This was the garment featured, on and off, in leaked videos of one of the Supreme Court judges who has blocked the election.
While the people on one side of politics are out protesting, demanding the right to have their vote, those on the other side have gone very quiet, perhaps looking just a little smug…
The longer the delay, the more it seems likely that the Supreme Court will annul the first-round election result, despite this: “Transparency Maldives expresses concern over the delay of the second round of elections and rising tensions as Transparency Maldives did not receive any reports that suggest systematic fraud in its nationwide observation and no credible evidence that supports such allegations has been made public.”