TIME

Maldives Supreme Court Hits Entire Election Commission with Jail Terms

Maldives Election Commissioner Thowfeek speaks during a news conference in Male
Maldives Election Commissioner Fuwad Thowfeek speaks during a news conference in Male, October 18, 2013. Dinuka Liyanawatte—Reuters

The island nation’s highest court says body ‘disobeyed orders’

Two weeks before polling stations open in Maldives, all four members of the country’s Election Commission are set to spend the next six months behind bars following a ruling from the nation’s highest court.

According to the BBC, the Supreme Court was effectively able to play prosecutor, judge and jury during the trial in accordance with a new sweeping rule that expands judicial powers.

The ruling is the latest in a series of tit-for-tat exchanges between the Supreme Court and the commission.

Last October, Fuwad Thowfeek, the head of the commission, set his sights on the court and unleashed harsh criticism after the body annulled a presidential election that had been given the green light by independent observers.

Police prevented the commission on two separate occasions from holding run-off votes. Parliamentary elections are still set to commence on March 22.

[BBC]

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