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Commonwealth election observers meet independent candidates

Mariyam Malsa
03 April 2019, MVT 11:18
The team of Commonwealth observers holding a meeting with some independent candidates. PHOTO: MIHAARU
Mariyam Malsa
03 April 2019, MVT 11:18

The team of Commonwealth observers sent to oversee the parliamentary election slated for April 6 met certain independent candidates on Tuesday.

Abdul Matheen Mohamed, an independent contestant for the constituency of Ungoofaaru, spoke to local media Mihaaru regarding the meeting.

According to Matheen, the Commonwealth observers made inquiries regarding differences in campaigning opportunities between independent candidates and those backed by political parties, as well as collecting candidates' concerns regarding any election arrangements.

Matheen stated that the independent candidates disclosed some of their concerns to the Commonwealth representatives, including troubling aspects of the campaigns conducted by some political parties.

The delegation, led by former Prime Minister of Jamaica Bruce Golding, consists of 13 individuals who are experts in legal, diplomatic and political matters in addition to having knowledge of election procedures.

The Commonwealth attributed the decision to send election observers to a request made by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, and the fact that Maldives had lodged a request to rejoin the organisation.

Former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom pulled Maldives out of the Commonwealth in October 2016 after 34 years of membership.

According to the Commonwealth, findings revealed by the team of observers would be an encouraging factor in Maldives' reacceptance into the international organisation, and that they would confirm whether Maldives followed the regulations set by the Commonwealth.

The Elections Commission (EC) has revealed that 30 individuals representing four nations and six international organizations will participate in observation efforts for the parliamentary election.

The observer states are Jordan, Philippines, Georgia and Japan, with the first four countries having accepted invitations sent by EC. Japan requested to observe the election on its own initiative.

The international organisations observing the upcoming election include the European Union and the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL).

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