The Elections Commission (EC) has confirmed observers from both Commonwealth and EU countries will monitor the upcoming presidential election, but has said the exact number of officials overseeing polling will not be known until later this week.
EC Vice President Ahmed Fayaz has told Minivan News that a delegation of observers representing the Commonwealth, several members states of the EU and a number of other nations had expressed interest in observing September’s voting.
He added that once the final number of observers had been confirmed, the registered foreign nationals would be free to monitor polling across the country to determine how voting was being carried out.
Minivan News was awaiting a response from the Commonwealth Secretariat at time of press considering the organisation’s plans for observing the upcoming vote.
Besides determining the number of international monitors expected to be present in the country during polling, Fayaz said the EC had also now established a national complaints bureau tasked with dealing with any issues or concerns about campaigning by various candidates.
Despite citing initial “logistical difficulties” that limited the bureau’s work, he added that the EC was now accepting complaints concerning any potential issues affecting this year’s election.
“The bureau has started work already and will deal with all complaints related to campaigns or candidates in the election,” Fayaz said.
He added that complaints could be submitted to the EC by phone, e-mail or forms available on the commission’s official website. The complaints bureau itself is based on the second floor of the Port Complex Building, the same location as the EC Secretariat.
With voting scheduled to take place on September 7, the EC also this week determined the order by which candidates would appear on the ballot paper.
The four candidates from top to bottom are Gasim Ibrahim (Jumhoree Party), Dr Mohamed Waheed (independent, incumbent president), Abdulla Yameen (Progressive Party of the Maldives) and Mohamed Nasheed (Maldivian Democratic Party, former President).
Yameen and Gasim attended the ceremony to announce the ballot order, according to local media.