Underpant protests as Maldives crisis deepens

MALÉ, September 27, 2013 (AFP) – Police in the Maldives said Friday they had arrested 14 protesters involved in hanging white underpants outside a courthouse as a constitutional crisis over stalled elections on the honeymoon islands deepened. Supporters of the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) been begun displaying white briefs in public to taunt Supreme Court judge Ali Hameed who was allegedly filmed during a sex romp in a video that has gone viral.

The Supreme Court has angered the MDP and been criticised by the international community for suspending the runoff round of presidential elections due on Saturday after MDP candidate Mohamed Nasheed won the first vote.

The runoff has been halted pending a petition by the third-placed candidate who challenged the result and said he should be facing Nasheed in the final two-way race.

The constitutional crisis worsened on Friday after the head of the Election Commission Fuad Thaufeeq said that voting would take place this weekend in defiance of the court, which issued an order instructing the army to prevent balloting.

Thaufeeq’s deputy also contradicted him, indicating a schism inside the vital institution.

“We will not go against the law,” the deputy head of the