The Elections Commission (EC) has denied receiving any formal complaints over its capability to ensure a fair election in September this year, after rejecting requests by the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) to make voter registration more “lenient”. EC President Fuwad Thowfeek told Minivan News no “official complaints” had been filed with the commission over its ability to capably oversee the upcoming presidential election, despite the PPM alleging in local media that it was incapable of ensuring a fair vote. Thowfeek said the PPM have previously requested the EC not to reject voter registration forms missing details such as the name of a voter’s parents or a phone number, that could not be verified during random checks.
PPM Council member and Youth Minister Mohamed Hussain Shareef was quoted in newspaper Haveeru this week calling for “major reforms” to the commission, which he alleged lacked the capacity to oversee fair voting.
The government-aligned party reportedly alleged that concerns over the false registration of voters in previous elections and discrepancies between the previously gazetted registry and the documents used by the EC itself on polling day had not been addressed. The claims were dismissed by the EC today.
Shareef’s concerns included fears about the false registration of voters, as well as allegations of discrepancies between the gazetted registry and the final document used by the EC on voting day. Unspecified issues were also raised about how national identity cards were being used.
Minister Shareef and PPM MP and Spokesperson Ahmed Nihan were not responding to calls at time of press, while the party’s vice presidential candidate Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed was travelling and unable to answer queries on the allegations.