Amid constant attacks on the Elections Commission’s (EC) internet server and concerns over voter database security, Commissioner Fuwad Thowfeek has revealed that the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) had previously requested access to the commission’s IT section. Despite admitting their ongoing concerns in this matter, the PPM have denied asking for this kind of access. The EC’s internet server is currently facing continuous attacks from hackers both within the Maldives and abroad, although EC Commissioner Fuwad Thowfeek has previously dismissed rumours that any such attempts had been successful. Earlier this month, PPM and Jumhooree Party (JP) lodged a complaint with the EC expressing fears that foreign nationals had access to the Maldives’ voter database for the upcoming presidential election. The EC has sought assistance from Indian IT professionals to set up software in order to oversee future council elections.
Earlier this year, the Elections Commission of India (ECI) and the Maldives’ Elections Commission agreed on a roadmap for cooperation that includes jointly developing an assistance project to enable free and fair elections later this year.
In response, the EC met with a “combined team” representing the JP and PPM to dismiss these fears, explaining that only local staff had access to sensitive information or the commission’s security systems.
Thowfeek further explained to Minivan News today (August 21) how the commission had addressed the PPM’s concerns.
“A few times they have come and met me – twice a delegation from PPM came and met me and once a delegation met the vice chair of the elections commission,” said Thowfeek.
“We attended to almost all their requests, but there are some demands that we cannot meet. For example, one of their demands was to see our IT section,” he continued.
“They wanted to see the hardware and software of our network system, which we cannot do and we are not ready to do for the safety and security of our system,” he explained.