The parliament on Tuesday approved to appoint Ali Nashaath, the director of Elections Commission (EC), to the current vacancy on the electoral watchdog.
President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom had nominated Nashaath and submitted his name to the parliament on Monday. His appointment to the EC was passed unanimously by all 32 lawmakers present in Monday's sitting.
The parliamentary Committee on Independent Institutions which reviewed Nashaath's nomination, approved his appointment with 89.63 percent marks. In its report, the committee explained that Nashaath received high marks based on his educational background, training, work experience, capability and skills.
A minimum of 75 percent is required to approve appointment to independent institutions.
The EC vacancy opened up after its former member, Mohamed Shakeel, handed in his resignation last May. Shakeel was later appointed as state minister at the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
The shuffle to the commission comes amidst criticism from the opposition coalition, accusing the EC of being manipulated by ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM). Raising doubts over the commission's independence, opposition parties claim that the upcoming Presidential Election would not be free and fair.
However, the EC has refuted the allegations and assured that the election slated for September 23, would be the most transparent and independent in the democratic history of Maldives.
While the parliament passed to appoint Nashaath to the electoral watchdog on Tuesday, Speaker Abdulla Maseeh declined to call for a vote on the proposed amendments to Public Service Media Act and parliamentary regulations, over lack of quorum. Maseeh did not call for a vote on the two bills during the sitting held Monday as well due to poor MP turnout.