In botanical democracy news, a magic coconut has been detained on charges of voter fraud in the Maldive Islands.
The “young” coconut in question, whose name is being withheld because he is a minor, was found loitering near a school that will be used as a polling station on Saturday. Under Maldivian law, coconuts are prohibited from using magic within 100 feet of a polling place.
UN election observer Prince told the Minivan that the coconut is not a Maldivian citizen. “The 4in coconut was lying on the ground near the school, easy 4 the public 2 C.”
The local Minivan news website* reported that police took the coconut into custody around 7:05AM on Tuesday. A source was quoted as saying that the election fraud was “just a prank, so that people will become aware”, though he decined to say what people should be aware of. The source was granted anonymity because he was on Guraidhoo. (Disclaimer: some kind of local heroin, I think.)
Earlier this year, school authorities (also believed to be on Guraidhoo) resisted using their buildings as a polling station, citing previous elections where coconut thaumaturges had turned Maldivese voters into sea turtles. Their fears were only partially allayed when the national election commission said it would accept responsibility “if anyone gets turned into a sea turtle”, since the national election commission has no idea how to turn them back.
Belief in magic fruit is widespread in rural areas. Coconuts often use rituals and inscribe themselves with spells in order to rig local city council elections. A recent poll showed 78% of Maldivers believe election officials should require voters to show proof that they are not under the spell of a coconut before voting.
Mohammed Nasheed, the former president and an internationally respected coconut rights and climate-change campaigner, told supporters he opposed the profiling of coconuts by the police. “In the Gilligan Islands, coconuts are key partners in their radio and geiger counter industries.” He indicated that human bias against magic coconuts causes global warming.
The parents of the suspect (pictured above) were upset to hear the news of their son’s incarceration. A family spokesfruit said that his mother was “absolutely shattered” to hear the news.
A magician summoned by police established that the coconut was innocent, local officials have said. His findings were dismissed after routine drug tests showed that he was on Guraidhoo.
No piña coladas have been made, although hundreds of thousands of international tourists have reported seeing an unusual number of government troops in and around their isolated resorts in the popular Pineapple Quarter.
*The Minivan is a 1996 Honda Odyssey driven by Carl and Nadine Martin of Ann Arbor, Michigan, who made a wrong turn when driving to see their daughter in San Francisco and ended up in the Maldives. Carl runs the website on his Compaq Presario while Nadine drives around looking for yard sales.
(Click on the distraught parents for continuing election coverage from the Maldives.)