Transparency Maldives deploying 42 long term elections observers nationwide

Transparency Maldives (TM) has begun training 42 long term elections observers to be posted throughout every atoll nationwide to monitor the campaign landscape and misuse of public resources, and ensure elections are fair and credible.

The long term observers have been appointed  addition to 200 observers who will be present on election day.

TM staff began a three day training program for the long term observers on Saturday (July 6), with the assistance of experts and representatives from relevant state institutions including the Elections Commission (EC), Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), and the Maldives Police Service (MPS).

Long term observers will be responsible for meeting regularly with all key stakeholders and monitoring activities including campaigning, pre-election electoral processes, voter education, vote buying and misuse of state resources in the run up to the September 7 presidential election.

This TM program marks the first time an NGO will conduct long term elections observations in the Maldives.

“We are excited to experiment the first ever systematic long-term domestic election observation in the Maldives. We are preparing for a comprehensive election day observation, recruiting up to 200 observers who will be assigned to randomly selected ballot boxes,” said TM’s Executive Director Ilham Mohamed.

“We thank and recognise the contributions of domestic elections observers towards a credible elections,” she added.

EC President Fuwad Thowfeek highlighted the need for domestic observers and the positive role they play in strengthening the electoral system, while addressing participants during the training program’s launch.

Long term elections observations will be conducted in order to increase confidence in electoral processes and civil society participation in the democratic process. Observers will also identify areas related to the democratic electoral process that require further improvement.

The long term observations will begin July 15 – the date presidential hopefuls can file their formal candidacy with the EC – and continue beyond the 2013 presidential election to the 2014 local council and parliamentary elections, noted TM Communication Manager Aiman Rasheed.

As part of TM’s elections program, the NGO will also implement a comprehensive voter education program, upgrade their online complaints system, and conduct media monitoring.

Election environment

Transparency also conducted domestic election monitoring during the 2008-2011 cycle of elections, including the country’s first multi-party presidential, parliamentary and local council elections. The results of these elections were widely accepted both locally and internationally – a notable outcome given the high temperature of the country’s politics.

“However, the current political polarisation and the tense, sometimes violent, political environment have strained and continue to further threaten the democratic gains of the previous election processes,” Transparency Maldives warned.

The 2013 presidential elections are set to unfold “against a context of uncertainty, crises of political legitimacy and unprecedented levels of political polarisation,” Transparency Maldives has stated, in an extensive pre-election assessment published in March.

“The latter is characterised by mistrust, categorical negative framing of one another and by the lack of self-accountability of institutions, politicians and their parties for their role in the existing political crises. The electoral background is therefore discouraging,” Transparency noted.

The detailed report identifies key challenges in the lead up to the election, such as the candidacy of former President Mohamed Nasheed, lack of monitoring of campaign financing, an extensive and entrenched culture of vote buying, and a media establishment set on fueling personality politics and further polarisation.

“The upcoming Presidential Elections are currently headed to unfold against this political context of crisis of legitimation, uncertainty of democratic transition, existing polarisations and other challenges that have been aggravated by the controversial transfer of power on 7 February 2012,” Transparency stated.


5 thoughts on “Transparency Maldives deploying 42 long term elections observers nationwide”

  1. I certainly don't like a lot of what MDP did in government and don't like a number of their policies. But I have to admit that they represent the ONLY way to break away from the system of governance we've had from time immemorial.

    We've never really gone away from hereditary, one party, one family, one man rule. Let's take a look at the credible alternatives infront of us:

    (1) PPM: A giant step backwards. It means going back to the old feudal system of one family, hereditary rule. No thanks.

    (2) JP: This is one man band and the desire of one man to build a legacy for himself. No thanks.

    (3) The Grand Coalition: This is the equivalent of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood in disguise, but far more dangerous. It's simply a vehicle for Adhaalath to get a foothold in politics. Grave dangers here. No thanks.

    (4). MDP: A party with a chequered history. Questionable characters in its hierarchy. Failed to deliver on key economic policies last time around. Grand on promises, but short on delivery. However, chances are that they may create a lasting transition from our current feudal system of governance.

    May the Maldives see a democratic system of governance sometime soon.

  2. Nasheed has promised the sky and stars for the people of Addu. I'm not certain that he can deliver on even a single one of those big plans even on a 10 year term, never mind 5! Last time around, he created the white elephant known as the Equatorial Convention Centre. The place is going to be a ruin in a few years.

    He is still going on about Utility Companies and Health Corporations. This was one of the biggest mistakes of the last MDP government. A hugely bureaucratic civil service was turned into an even more corrupt and wasteful network of money siphoning entities known as "corporations". Where is the world did he learn this from? I can't think of a single reason for the existence of these "corporations" and "companies".

    The people of Addu should cast their vote carefully. Even though MDP as a party represents an opportunity for the people of Addu, the current leadership has lost the plot, so to speak! If Nasheed spoke of just ONE achievable goal for the people of Addu, instead of a dozen undeliverable, pie in the sky dreams, I might have given him the benefit of the doubt. The man is crazy.

  3. Ahmed had well said.

    I used to be a strong supporter of Nasheed and when I realized the real motive behind evil plan, I have given up my self on this guy.

    All what he keeps on saying how he can misuse public money and how can distribute ?

    he had never mentioned how he is going to get the money and only talks about how can spend them?

    Any political leader who speaks of how to earn and then explain us how he will spend the money, my vote will go to that person.

    All what i am hearing today, false promises that no one ever be able to meet . Non of these idiots speaks of any truth and all are power hungry and corrupt.

    Nasheed had wasted over 700 million to EC and he could have used this money to upgrade the Gan airport and operate and market Herethera which could have brought a better revenue to gov. and better development to the Addu city.

    In reality EC is a big waste of money and land space and no benefit to the community .

  4. Kuribee,

    Don't be fooled by his disillusioned rhetoric. When push comes to shove, he will vote for the devious liar Nasheed, again. He will rationalise his actions by something along the lines of, "best among the lousy", or other such nonsense.

    Now you and I have it right, we pick one side and doggedly focus on the demerits of the other. Much easier than applying pesky notions such as logical reasoning. We shoot from the hips, as it were. We understand critical thinking, we can totally think of ways to criticise.

  5. @peasant on Sun, 7th Jul 2013 1:43 PM

    "Much easier than applying pesky notions such as logical reasoning. We shoot from the hips, ..."

    I like it, especially shooting from the hip part. A research paper on that perhaps?


Comments are closed.