The interim leader of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) / People's National Congress (PNC) coalition, Abdul Raheem Abdulla, has alleged that the government is making efforts to "steal" the presidential election. He said that the submission of 25,000 re-registration forms within 2 days is part of this alleged effort.
The Elections Commission (EC) announced that they have received a total of 25,000 forms for re-registration in preparation for the second round of elections scheduled for September 30. Re-registration is necessary in cases where voters need to change their polling station for various reasons.
Expressing his concern about the matter, Abdul Raheem said that it is impossible to submit 25,000 forms within two days, and claimed that these were fake forms. He further said that these were efforts by the government to "steal" the election, and that the members of the Elections Commission also shared this concern.
"This is a very big concern. I even called the President of the Elections Commission, Fuad, today, who also said that this is a big concern. [I requested] to investigate the reregistration process." said Abdul Raheem speaking from Haa Dhaalu atoll Kumundhoo.
He said, "This government is attempting to steal the election, and we should not allow them the opportunity to do so."
Abdul Raheem said the forms should be thoroughly screened and this should be prioritized above all else. He called on PPM members to check that people registered in specific islands were the ones who actually submitted the forms.
"I urge you all to sit down at a table and begin this work. We have to clarify where people are registered. This cannot be done unless we are very vigilant. We only have 48 hours to submit complaints, and we have to make sure it is done within that period. [Submission of] 25,000 forms within 2 days is definitely a lie. How can that be done?" Abdul Raheem questioned.
He said, "Elections should not be held unless this matter is cleared."
Abdul Raheem said that the PPM leadership will go to the Elections Commission today at 1 p.m., and that they will leave only after resolving the re-registration issue.
"I call on, not just the leadership, but ordinary members and Senate members to go [to the Elections Commission]. Do not go home until the issue is resolved. Do not give the opportunity to steal." said Abdul Raheem.
He further said, "Stop everything else and work to solve this issue. We will not make it possible to steal this election. Do not leave it only to the leaders. All members should go."
PPM/PNC presidential candidate Dr. Mohamed Muizzu also voiced his concern about this issue during a campaign event in Kumundhoo. He emphasized that the people have already spoken in the election, and the results are evident. Dr. Muizzu stressed that any attempt to alter these results through deception should not be tolerated.
"We must not allow the opportunity for the election to be compromised by the submission of thousands of invalid forms. I ask you to fulfill your individual national responsibility, ensuring that people's rights are not taken away," Dr. Muizzu said.