Preparations underway for second round of presidential election

Preparations are underway for the second round run-off of the presidential election scheduled for September 28.

Former President and Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) candidate Mohamed Nasheed, who placed first in the first round with 45.45 percent of the vote, will be facing off against runner up Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) candidate Abdulla Yameen who took 25.35 percent of the vote.

“There is so much work to be done before the second round, which is less than three weeks away,” EC Chair Fuwad Thowfeek told Minivan News.

“We are expecting a few additions [to the voter registry list]. Twenty people reported their names were missing from the list, so their names will be added [so they can vote in the second round],” he explained. “[Additionally], people who registered for the first round but have since died will be removed from the voter list.”

“Proof is needed in either case – house registration or ID card if their name was missing from the registry list or a death certificate if the person has since passed away,” he noted.

Amid concerns raised by the Jumhoree Party (JP) that local media had reported polling figures that did not reflect those of the Elections Commission during the vote counting – a discrepancy which led to a skirmish between police and JP officials outside the Dharubaruge convention centre early Sunday morning – Thowfeek explained steps the commission will take to prevent such an occurrence during the second round.

“We are making the process as transparent as possible – by publishing the data as early as possible and making sure media and everybody has access the results and election process,” said Thowfeek. “Many [observer] passes have been issued to the media.”

He also noted that the four day voter re-registration period will be Thursday (September 12) to Sunday (September 15), so individuals registered to vote in one location can change that location according to their needs.

“After the re-registration period the list will be published, printed, signed, and sent – like during the first round,” he added.

In the lead up to the second round, the EC will be open 8am-10pm daily, except for Friday’s when it will be open 2pm-10pm.