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Island councils to designate electoral focal points

Mohamed Visham
17 July 2016, MVT 13:32
The signing of the agreement between LGA and the elections commission on Sunday. PHOTO/ELECTIONS COMMISSION
Mohamed Visham
17 July 2016, MVT 13:32

Electoral watchdog on Sunday deferred the authority to designate electoral focal points to the island councils.

The focal points funded by the elections commission had overseen general, presidential and local council elections in the islets earlier.

However, under an agreement signed between the elections commission and the local government authority (LGA) the focal points would now be identified by the respective island councils.

EC deputy chief Ahmed Akram said the commission had earlier faced challenges in holding the focal points accountable.

"There have been cases where such focal points had fled with millions. And ballot boxes and ballot papers being kept in their homes. That's why we wanted the councils to oversee the whole process and hold these focal points accountable," Akram explained.

The commission is meanwhile gearing up to use electronic voting in the local council elections next year despite strong opposition.

Opposition parties have continued to express grave concerns over the introduction of e-voting by accusing the government of trying to rig the elections.

Main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) have questioned the independence of the elections commission to ensure a free and fair elections.

But the elections commission had assured that the it had never considered using e-voting for the entire local council elections.

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