Ministry of Finance declared Sunday night that Elections Commission (EC) requested the ministry to distribute funds out of the state budget to three political parties despite EC's claims that they appealed for the funds of four parties.
A spokesperson from finance ministry stated that the allocated funds were deposited into the accounts of three parties on May 23, as per EC's request. The three parties are Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), Jumhooree Party (JP) and Maldives Development Alliance (MDA).
Additionally, the ministry disclosed that MDP received over MVR 12 million in party funds as the party with the highest member count, while JP and MDA received funds over MVR 2 million each.
Elections Commission, however, asserts that they also tasked finance ministry with depositing over MVR 9 million to Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM)'s accounts. The party is yet to receive the funds.
Member of EC Ahmed Akram revealed to local media Mihaaru that no parties were excluded when finance ministry was tasked with distributing the party funds.
Moreover, he affirmed that EC will investigate why PPM has not received the allocated funds.
A total of MVR 26.2 million was allocated from 2019's budget for political parties of over 10,000 members. Only four parties out of the nine registered at EC fit the criteria when this year's budget was passed.
According to recent forms analysed by EC, only two parties currently have over 10,000 members. They are PPM and MDP, the latter hitting an all time high with over 50,000 registered members.
Funds allocated for political parties must be deposited within the first three months of the year. EC stated that the process was delayed this year as the commission had to confirm the legitimacy of the large number of forms submitted coinciding with 2019's parliamentary elections.