Election Commission President Fuad Thaufeeq has appointed a 19 year old council worker to oversee the Thimarafushi by-election, scheduled for next month.
Thaufeeq said that the appointee met the need for somebody adequately qualified but without political affiliation.
The previous elections officer in the constituency was Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) member Ali Hassanfulhu. His replacement was intended to head-off potential unrest in an area with both strong MDP and Progressive Party of Malives (PPM) support.
The PPM said it feared that the appointment was politically motivated and had sent a letter of complaint to the Election Commission.