The Maldives Police Service (MPS) is experiencing “difficulties” investigating the 47 cases of fraudulent political party enlistment, with “no way” to hold the respective political parties accountable, reports local media.
Investigations are underway for 46 cases of fraudulent enlistment – including by already deceased people – filed by the Elections Commission (EC) and one individually lodged, MPS Chief Inspector Abdulla Shatheeh told local media.
The fraudulent political party forms include 15 from President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik’s Gaumee Ithihad Party (GIP), five from his Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) running mate Ahmed Thasmeen Ali, and 27 from prominent businessman and MP Ahmed Siyam’s Maldives Democratic Alliance (MDA).
“Police are finding it difficult to pinpoint the culprits behind the fraudulent forms due to the absence of fingerprints on the forms and the process under which the forms were filled,” said Shatheeh.
“Under such circumstances there was no way to hold the respective political party accountable for the fraudulent forms,” he added.
Thus far only one case with “sufficient evidence” has been investigated and forward for prosecution, Shatheeh noted.
The Elections Commission (EC) has urged members of the public registered to political parties without their knowledge to submit a complaint form before November 18.
In an announcement on the EC website, the commission explained that it was receiving a number of complaints from the public about being registered to a political party without their knowledge or consent.
The EC noted that it had established mechanisms to check party registration either through text messages or on the official website.
A text message sent to 1414 with PPR space followed by the national ID card number would show if the person is registered to a political party. Alternately, the EC website has an online database to check party registration by entering the ID card number.
The complaint form, which is available on the website and the EC office counter, should be submitted if the political party in question fails to comply with a written request to leave the party within seven days, the EC noted. Upon submission of the form, the EC will remove the person’s name from the party registry.
“One of the most important reasons for doing this in the given period [before November 18] is to carry out distribution of funds for political parties from the 2013 state budget in the best possible manner,” the EC stated.