Malé, Maldives – Transparency Maldives (TM) states that there have been no reports of violence at any of the observed polling stations during the opening of the polls for the ongoing elections today.
Transparency Maldives said this in reply to a question asked by The Times of Addu due to news of an altercation occurring between ruling party, Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) and opposition coalition making rounds on social media and news media.
TM added that this is the initial report, and since the observation is ongoing further comments on the voting process will be included in the second statement released at the end of the the observation. There are four more hours to go until polls close today.
In a statement released today, Transparency Maldives said that the organization is observing the Local Council (LCE) and Women’s Development Committee (WDC) Elections held today. The observer network provides national coverage spanning Male and the 19 atolls. 55 observers and volunteers based across the country are observing and assisting in the election observation processes.
TM’s trained and accredited observers observed the opening of 34 polling centers in 29 islands spread out over 19 Atolls. They have accomplished this by establishing a Call Center and online platform to maintain contact with observers in the field and receive real time updates from them.
TM notes that all poll centers were opened gradually from 06:50 to 08:00. When the stations were opened all 34 observed stations had a complete polling committee present to fulfill all roles of election officials.
The data and percentages are only representative of the 34 polling locations observed by TM observers contacted through the online reporting platform and Call Center.
Polling started between 7:11 am and 7:30 am in 11 polling centers (32 %) Polling started after 7:30am in 7 polling centers (21%) All polling stations opened before 8:00 am. All 34 polling stations had a complete polling committee to fulfil all roles of election officials.
In all 34 polling stations, the ballot box was shown to be empty prior to closing it in the presence of minimum two voters. Of the 34 observed polling stations, 4 pull-tight seals were not placed to close the ballot box at 2 polling stations. Of the 34 observed polling stations, ballot papers were not counted or reconciled before opening at 1 polling station.