The Maldives’ opposition party Wednesday raised concerns over conduct of the presidential elections on Sunday in a free and fair manner by the country’s poll body, which it alleged has deployed activists of the ruling dispensation for the poll duty. President Abdulla Yameen, of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), is seeking a second five-year term in the Indian Ocean archipelago, a popular high-end tourist destination. Yemeen had imposed a state of emergency in February after the Supreme Court quashed the conviction of nine opposition leaders, including the country’s first democratically elected president Mohamed Nasheed. Nasheed, the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) leader, is currently in exile in Sri Lanka. He has been barred from contesting the Sunday’s polls.
The Maldives’ Elections Commission has appointed 107 PPM activists and members and tasked them with the official work on the election day, the MDP said here Wednesday.
“In yet another egregious example of bias, the Elections Commission has given the PPM activists official roles in administrating the voting, vote counting, and complaint procedures on election day. These PPM activists, as officials, will have sole discretion on how to adjudicate a complaint at the polling booth,” a MDP release said.