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The Democrats call for the release of voter re-registration list

18 September 2023, MVT 13:07
Former President and current Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed (R) and The Democrats presidential candidate Ilyas Labeeb at an earlier meeting of The Democrats. -- Photo: Nishan Ali
18 September 2023, MVT 13:07

The Democrats, led by former President Mohamed Nasheed, have called for the public disclosure of the voter re-registration list, citing concerns related to the significant increase in re-registrations for the upcoming second round of presidential elections.

The call came in response to the announcement by the Elections Commission (EC) that 25,000 individuals had been re-registered to vote within a mere two days for the presidential elections scheduled for September 30.

The opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and People's National Congress (PNC) presidential candidate Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, has expressed his concerns about the high number of re-registrations occurring in such a short time frame.

The Democrats, in a statement, expressed the need to verify the authenticity of these registrations, especially in light of the comparatively low voter turnout during the first round of elections.

They highlighted that releasing the list of re-registration applicants is essential to dispel any suspicions of a conspiracy intended to infringe upon people's voting rights and to uphold the public's confidence in the electoral process.

The Democrats expressed concerns about the alleged use of state assets by the ruling party, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), for campaign purposes and and highlighted the loss of press freedom, echoing observations made by transparency advocates. The Democrats highlighted that the opposition party had also filed a complaint with the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) regarding these matters.

"The Democrats call upon the Election Commission to safeguard the independence and legitimacy of the election and to ensure the right to vote in the election is upheld and secured," the party said in a statement.

MDP, however, said that the accusations made against the party regarding its influence on the EC in matters related to re-registration for the second round of the presidential election were a result of the opposition's certainty that they would lose.

The second round of the presidential election will be contended by PPM/PNC candidate Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, who secured the highest number of votes in the first round, and MDP candidate President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

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