Elections Commission grants JP access to voter list, JP seeks additional High Court order for unrestricted access

The Elections Commission (EC) has granted Jumhooree Party (JP) representatives access to the voter list today in compliance with a High Court order issued earlier this week, however the party is seeking an additional court order to gain unrestricted access to the registry.

The High Court ordered the commission to allow the JP supervised access – under guidelines set by the EC – to the voter lists in lieu of ordering the EC to release hard copies of the list to the party. The unanimous ruling also stated that the JP was unable to offer any evidence to substantiate the claims of electoral fraud.

The EC has emphatically dismissed allegations of vote rigging as “baseless and unfounded”, highlighting its transparency, extensive preparations – conducted with international support – to ensure a free and fair polling process, its ongoing complaints investigations, and the praise from a broad spectrum of election observers who noted peaceful voting and the preparedness of the EC.

The EC granted two JP representatives access from 10am to 12pm today to check the voter lists from the presidential election’s first round held September 7, however the JP has accused the commission of not fully complying with the High Court order.

JP representative Ahmed Saleem “refused to accept” guidelines established by the commission which allowed individual names given by the party to be verified, instead of granting JP unrestricted access. As a result, the JP was unable to verify all the names on their list.

“They said that they will check names and other information as requested by us,” said Saleem. “We’re not interested in checking the voters’ list in this manner. It’s not acceptable.”

Last night the JP requested the EC allow a team of 25 people have a minimum of 36 hours to review the voter list, which was denied by the commission.

“They allocated [the JP] only two hours and only two representatives [to check the lists], [which was] not possible when there are 470 ballot boxes,” JP’s Legal Advisor Mohamed Haleem told Minivan News today.

“They would not allow us to take notes or touch the list,” he lamented.

“We want to compare the published voters registry with that of the Elections Commission’s list of people who had voted,” he continued. “We should have been allocated enough time, and enough representatives.”

“The High Court ordered the Elections Commission to allow us to check the list to address all of our doubts,” he noted. “We will find a solution through the legal process and seek an order through High Court again.”

Ilyas Hussain and Ahmed Thaufeeg, members of President Mohamed Waheed’s Gaumee Itthihad Party (GIP), were also present at the EC when JP representatives arrived to view the voter list this morning, local media reported.