The Elections Commission (EC) has issued a statement condemning the remarks made by President of the Adhaalath Party Sheikh Hussein Rasheed, after he criticised it for failing to raise adequate public awareness about the recent referendum.
Sheikh Rasheed said that as a result, the state had spent more than Rf 11 million (US$856,000) holding a referendum on administrative consolidation that most of the country’s eligible citizens had failed to vote in.
“My intention is to make institutions more accountable. It’s not a problem if the commission issues press releases about me, but I would prefer they listen and learn something from what I said,’’ Sheikh Rasheed told Minivan News.
He claimed that most citizens were unaware of what the referendum was about – a proposal for grouping smaller islands to form large population centres – which led to a 30 percent turnout across the country. Of 88,882 eligible voters, less than 27,000 participated in the referendum.
However the EC stated that it would contradict the commission’s independence if it was required to inform citizens about the benefits and disadvantages of a referendum’s topic, and described attempts by political figures to disgrace the commission by suggesting otherwise as “irresponsible”.