As the Elections Commission (EC) today announced details of their plans for Saturday’s presidential election, Minivan News has learned that many inmates of Maafushi Prison will be unable to take part in the poll, despite their legal right to do so.
A source within the Maafushi Prison has told Minivan News that more than 200 inmates were not registered to vote because they do not have national identity cards. The source claimed that inmates have to pay the prison department to renew their ID cards but that there are inmates in the cells who have no way to get money.
“Many of the inmates in the cells have no connection with their family or anyone to help them, so they can’t afford to deposit money to their prison account to make ID cards,” he said. “We talked to the senior prison officers about this and their reply was that inmates have to find their own ways to get money and pay for the ID card.”
He said that inmates have contacted politicians and have been told it is the responsibility of the Home Ministry to make ID cards for all the inmates who don’t have them.
The source also claimed that inmates have complained about either the Prison Department or the Home Ministry stealing the money the government had given them to get ID cards for inmates.
Meanwhile, the EC has announced that the preliminary results of the presidential elections will be revealed on Saturday night at 11pm in a press conference held by the commission.
The EC also said that it would have four press conferences on Saturday – one in the morning from 9 until 9:30 pm, one in the afternoon at 2:30pm, another at 5:30pm to 6pm, before a final press conference at 11pm. Voting begins at 7:30am.
Polling stations based in Trivandrum, New Dehli, and SriLanka will begin voting at 8am and end at 4:30pm. The ballot box in London will be open for voting at 9:am until 5:30 pm UK time.
Ballot boxes in Malaysia and Singapore will be open for voting from 10:30 pm until 7pm local time.
The EC’s national complaints bureaus will be online from 8am to 4pm and then 8pm to 10pm, except for Friday. On Friday the complaints bureaus will be working from 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm and then from 8pm to 10pm.
The national complaints bureaus can be contacted at 3004489, 3004492, 9901051, 7986942 – or complaints can be faxed to 3004495 or 3004497. Complaints can also be mailed to [email protected].
Meanwhile, President Dr Waheed Hassan has decided that the day following polling (8 September) will be a public holiday.
Giving further information about the decision, the President’s Office issued a statement saying that the decision had been made in compliance with a request made by the Elections Commission.
Furthermore, the President’s Office has said that President Waheed will address the nation tonight at 8:30pm through the media and will give his message to the people regarding the election.