Malé, Maldives – The opposition coalition has stated that the Local Council Elections to be held tomorrow will not be fair.
In a press conference held by the opposition coalitions council election committee yesterday at the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM)’s office, campaign manager Muaz Mohamed Rasheed accused the government of interfering with the elections. He said that the election will be hard in many ways, but they will defeat the government and win by a landslide.
The government is doing many things to interfering with the election. We are very doubtful that this election would be fair, as we keep seeing so many evidences that proves the point.Muaz Mohamed Rasheed, Former MP of Madaveli Constituency
Muaz also added that the government has been starting new projects in the islands, when the election is just right around the corner in order to influence the outcome of the elections.
None of this is going to happen. All of this is happening just so that the government can influence to the election. They [government] created many jobs in islands. We do not even know what will happen to them when the election finishes. Government has offered so many jobs to so many people and candidates once the election ends. The government can only tamper with the election this much. We strongly condemn all these things.Muaz Mohamed Rasheed, Former MP of Madaveli Constituency
Muaz further added that they can win the election even with the influence of the government, and that many people have gotten tired of the current government.
Muaz said that the monitors and officials active on the election day should give their utmost attention to the vote boxes. He also said that since everyone will be wearing masks, it is important to check the lists and identify the person before the person casts the vote.
The opposition coalition suspected the government and the Elections Commission in playing a part in tempering with the votes in tomorrow’s election. Opposition said that they had received reports that some peoples names have appeared in other lists to which they are not registered to.
Opposition Coalition advised all PPM and PNC supporters to vote before 1200pm on Saturday.
The statements by the opposition comes while the government has signed a total of 16 developmental contracts within the past two week and broke ground on 14 of the projects. While government and SOE’s officials have been defending these projects by saying that the dates falling near to the Local Council Elections is merely a coincidence, many people have been criticizing the current administration and MDP for doing everything they had advocated against previously.
The latest and the most direct use of state resources came last night after Presidents Office had published 4 separate articles from President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s speech made at MDP campaign closing event. While the Presidents Office website did not mention that it was an MDP’s event, the articles read “the concluding ceremony of “Rahvehi Fathis” campaign at Alifu Alifu Rasdhoo.”
In addition to the Presidents Office website, their Twitter handle and Facebook page has also shared these articles. In addition to these, official Twitter handles and Facebook pages of the government, “Government of Maldives” have been used heavily to promote the projects being carried out by the current administration within the past weeks where illustrations of project updates were being shared on both platforms as the local council elections came closer.
In addition to this, MDP had reserved the state media, Public Service Media (PSM) for whole day yesterday, which was against the Elections (General) Act, Article 30 (c) which states that “from the time allotted to candidates pursuant to subsection (a) no broadcasters shall under any circumstance give or sell more than 10% of the time allotted to one candidate, to one individual candidate or a political party or a candidate representing a political party.”