Maldives election officials flee after presidential poll

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Four of the five members of Maldives’ Elections Commission have fled the country because of threats from supporters of outgoing President Yameen Abdul Gayoom, who accused them of rigging last month’s presidential election in favor of the opposition candidate, the head of the commission said Wednesday.

Yameen’s party filed a complaint with police on Wednesday challenging the results of the election, in which he was decisively defeated by opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

Elections commissioner Ahmed Shareef said groups of Yameen supporters had gathered in front of the members’ homes and threatened them, accusing them of accepting bribes from the opposition.


The opposition alliance said Yameen, who has rolled back many of Maldives’ democratic reforms, is attempting to cling to power after initially conceding defeat.

Yameen’s Progressive Party of the Maldives said in a statement that it was disappointed that only one commission member remained in the country while ‘‘there is a national outcry’’ over the commission’s conduct .

The party said lawyers filed the complaint to police on Wednesday over ‘‘serious allegations of vote rigging, fraud, malpractice, and corruption.’’

associated press