Elections Commission requests for equal campaign opportunities

Former President of the Elections Commission of Maldives, Ahmed Shareef. | Photo: Mohamed Sharuhaan

Malé, Maldives – The Elections Commission (EC) of Maldives has sent a letter to the Health Protection Agency (HPA) requesting for equal opportunities to all the candidates taking part in the upcoming local council elections and Women’s Development Committee (WDC).

The Chairperson of EC Ahmed Shareef stated in the letter that the commission has carried out an investigation following several complaints submitted to the National Elections Complaints Bureau. He noted that during their investigaions the EC has found discrepancies when granting travel permissions for candidates which is required as travel restrictions have been imposed in many islands throughout Maldives due to Covid-19.

He stressed that particularly opposition candidates are facing difficulties on receiving the required permissions for travel to do their campaigning. He noted that being able to campaign to gain support for elections is a right granted under the Constitution.

Furthermore, EC noted that they have noticed some high officials of the government and business owners campaigning for certain local council and WDC election candidates while on official trips to different islands.

The Elections Commission requested Director General of Public Health Maimoona Aboobakuru to implement a regulation, abiding by the special law for the local council elections such that all candidates, no matter which political party they belong to, have an equal opportunity to campaign along with their supporters to ensure a fair election. The local council elections and WDC elections are to be held on April 10th.