Coconut detained for vote rigging in election

NO not that election. The other one being held today.
Police in the Maldives have detained a coconut accused of vote-rigging in the island nation’s presidential election.

The suspect fruit was found near a school on the Kaafu atoll in the Indian Ocean, that will become a polling place when Maldivians cast their votes today.

The coconut was taken into custody on Tuesday morning after police received complaints.

“The 4in coconut had a [Koranic verse] written in Arabic [on it] and was lying on the ground near the school, easy for the public to see. It seems like it was a joke, just a prank, so that people will become aware,” the Maldivian website Minivan reported.

The news site said a source told them the fruit was left at the school as “a lesson for islanders not to practise black magic in an attempt to influence voting and that the polling area would be closely monitored to prevent such activities from occurring”.

While the majority of the Maldives population are Sunni Muslim a belief in magic remains widespread in rural areas and coconuts are often used in rituals and spells.

Today’s vote will test the popular holiday destination’s young democracy after the ousting in February 2012 of its first elected president, Mohamed Nasheed, who says he was removed in a “coup”.

Nasheed, a British-educated scuba-diving fanatic who once held a cabinet meeting under water, is contesting again and is seen as the clear frontrunner among the four candidates.

The man who replaced him in power following a mutiny by the security forces, Mohamed Waheed, is also standing — along with tourism tycoon Gasim Ibrahim and Abdulla Yameen, the half-brother of long-time Maldivian autocrat Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

“The atmosphere is ready for free and fair elections,” President Waheed told AFP as the candidates wrapped up campaigning on Friday.

“I have given an assurance of my government’s full support for anyone who wins the election,” he added, speaking from the capital of the nation of around 350,000 people.

If none of the candidates scores more than 50 percent today, a second round run-off is scheduled for September 28.

Source: The Guardian

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