After the reluctance of politicians to sign the register resulted in the delay of the previous poll, the Elections Commission Vice Chair Ahmed Fayaz noted that candidates will be given a specific time period to sign the voter registry, after which the commission will continue with the election.
Non-violent direct action protests have swept the nation following the further delaying of the presidential election on Saturday October 19. Pro-democracy demonstrations have been reported throughout the atolls, with the largest crowds gathering along Male’s Majeedhee Magu to sit, smoke, play games and listen to music whilst campaigning for their right to vote.
“The Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) urges political parties to prioritise national interest and support the elections commission in this difficult moment to hold the presidential election as scheduled. We call on as many citizens as possible to go out to vote and not to obstruct the vote,” the commission declared today.
After demanding fingerprint verification of the amended voter registry last night, the JP and PPM leadership have been unreachable. “Without their signatures, the Maldives Police Service is not willing to support us…The election is now in their hands,” explained EC Chairperson Fuwad Thowfeek.
Rival candidates representing the Progressive Party of Maldives and the Jumhooree Party have expressed concern about the accuracy of the amended voter registry, despite the MDP saying it will sign the list to ensure polling is held Saturday (October 19).
“We are very certain a free and fair election will be held as scheduled – we are determined to do so – but not everything is within our control,” said Fuwad Thowfeek as the EC aims to print the voter registry tomorrow, ahead of Saturday’s poll.
“We have removed the names of deceased people from our database whose information has been shared. But we cannot remove a person from the database if we can’t officially confirm their deaths,” DNR Director Fareeda Yoosuf told local media.
Over 12,000 individuals were issued token numbers to submit their voter re-registration forms and as of 9:00am today the last person was served, despite protests by PPM and MDA supporters in the commission’s registration office yesterday. Voter registry will be publicized by 8:00 am tomorrow. The EC has urged voters to check registration status and file complaints by 6:00 pm tomorrow (Oct 15)
Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MPs Imthiyaz Fahmy and Hamid Abdul Ghafoor were brought before the Criminal Court today for separate hearings on charges of “scandalising” the country’s judiciary and refusing to provide a urine sample to police respectively.