13 October 2013
At the meeting of the National Advisory Committee for Elections (NAC) held at the Elections Commission’s (EC) headquarters on 13 October 2013, Transparency Maldives (TM) sought clarifications, made comments and observations and provided advise. Following is a summary of the discussion.
A representative of the Department of National Registration shall participate in the National Advisory Committee for Elections meetings, from 13 October 2013 onwards.
Updates by the Elections Commission
- The registration system is currently down. However, the EC will continue to receive registration forms.
- 30,000 registration forms have so far been processed, as of 2pm 13 October 2013.
- The EC will be hiring an additional two polling officials for each of 7 and 10 member teams -a Communication Official to communicate with the EC as the officials are not allowed to carry in mobile phones, and an additional official who is tasked with ensuring that the voters list (not to be confused with the voters registry) is marked correctly at each polling station- to comply with the Supreme Court (SC) verdict number 2013/SC-C/42.
- EC expressed gratitude towards the Maldives Media Council (MMC) for lodging a case at the SC that resulted in a SC Order (no. 2013/SC-SJ/08) that lifts the ban on media monitors to carry in equipment necessary for their media functions. The Order also allows observers to carry in equipment and materials necessary for observation. Candidate agents, however are not covered under the Order and can only carry in pens into the polling area.
Other Points of Note
- DNR informed the NAC that as per the SC Order, in instances where citizens whose permanent address on their ID card and voters list do not match, will not be allowed to vote. DNR is yet to receive a list of the 2,830 persons mentioned in the SC verdict, whose permanent address on their ID cards do not match with the voters registry and hence are unable to verify the authenticity of the number. DNR is of the opinion, that based on their records, it is extremely unlikely that addresses of 2,830 citizens are mismatched. The Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM), the Maldives Media Council (MMC), and Transparency Maldives all expressed concern that these 2,830 citizens may be deprived of their right to vote if their ID cards are not renewed to reflect the address on the voter registry.
- PPM requested the EC to verify the registration forms and the finger prints, possibly by conducting a random verification of 10 forms per 1,000. The EC responded that it is not possible provided that state institutions do not have the capacity, records or the set up required to conduct such a verification process.
About the National Advisory Committee for Elections
The National Advisory Committee for Elections is convened by the Elections Commission and is the highest statutory advisory body for elections. The committee comprises the five members of the Elections Commission, a representative of each of the four candidates contesting the Presidential Elections 2013, a member of the Maldives Broadcasting Commission, Maldives Media Council and the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives, a representative of the Maldives Police Service and civil society.
Transparency Maldives’ (TM) Advocacy and Communications Manager, Aiman Rasheed sits on the National Advisory Committee for Elections as the civil society representative.