Access to information legislation crucial to fight corruption

PRESS RELEASE

Date: December 29, 2013

The passage of the Access to Information bill by the Parliament today was an important step towards increasing transparency of the state institutions, ensuring greater accountability of public officials, and fighting corruption.

Transparency Maldives hopes that President Abdulla Yamin Abdul Gayoom will expedite the ratification of the bill.We call on all actors and institutions to provide their full support towards successfully implementing the law once ratified.

 

ENDS

 

For all media queries, please contact Advocacy and Communications Manager, Aiman Rasheed on 00 960 7908967.

 

The press release is linked here in English and Divehi


Clarification on the reported numbers of the ‘An Assessment on Climate Finance Governance’ report:

 

Maldives has been pledged USD 130 million from 2008 through 2015 for environment and climate change related projects. Some projects financed through the USD 130 million have been concluded while others are currently ongoing. The figure is not MVR 130 billion as reported by some news sources.

 

We apologize for the misinformation.

 

‘An Assessment on Climate Finance Governance’ is a research conducted in 6 countries by Climate Finance Integrity Project’s by the respective Transparency International chapters.

 

This assessment is based on expert interviews and mapping on how funds have been received and utilized. We highlight the main findings and recommendations of the assessment on climate finance governance in Maldives.

 

See the following link for a summary of the report in Dhivehi and the complete report can be found in English at this link.


The Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) surveys opinions and experiences of the public on corruption. The GCB is one of the tools utilized by TI in understanding corruption.

 

Transparency International (TI) is a global movement sharing one vision: a world in which government, business, civil society and the daily lives of people are free of corruption. Transparency Maldives is the national contact of TI in Maldives.

 

Click to view/download the Global Corruption Barometer Survey 2013 in English and Dhivehi

 

Download
Global Corruption Barometer Survey 2013


PRESS RELEASE

 

Date: November 16, 2013

 

Transparency Maldives appreciates and thanks all observers and volunteers in our observer network, based in 20 atolls and in London, Singapore, Colombo, Kuala Lumpur, Delhi and Trivandrum. The observers were key to the success of the observation. Transparency Maldives believes that an independent observation effort at this scale has instilled greater levels of trust in our electoral processes. Our observers have ensured increased public participation and the transparency of electoral processes in the Maldives.

 

Transparency Maldives has participated in international election observation missions, including Nepal, Bangladesh, United States, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Transparency Maldives is also affiliated with many domestic and international elections observation and electoral knowledge networks including ANFREL and GNDEM. The election observation effort by Transparency Maldives in this Presidential election has been guided by the National Democratic Institute.

 

The methodology used for our observation was based on systematic random sampling. Our observers collected both qualitative and quantitative data and our approach allowed us to generate results from the sample to the entire population, within a known margin of error. In this case our margin of error is less than +/- 1.5%.

 

The elections were credible, transparent and extremely well-administered, as were the two previous rounds. Transparency Maldives congratulates the Maldivian citizens for their spirited engagement in the democratic process, with unprecedented voter turnout. Transparency Maldives congratulates the winning candidate Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom and his supporters. Transparency Maldives also congratulates President Nasheed and his supporters, in this closely contested election. Transparency Maldives urges all actors to respect and accept the election results and swear in the next president at the earliest.

 

The following are the key findings which we would like to highlight. 99.6% of polling stations closed by 5.00 p.m.

 

There were reports that people were not able to vote because their names were not on the voter registry, but this affected very few cases (less than 0.07% of all voters). Out of those affected (0.04%) of voters complained at the polling stations.

 

1.7% of the total voter turnout were assisted voters spread across 79.6% of the polling stations.

 

Voting was temporarily halted in 4.4% of polling stations. 50% of these cases were interventions at the direction of the Presiding Officer while 60% were interventions by political party supporters/affiliates.

 

We are happy to report that this election has been peaceful with no reported incidents of violence inside a polling station.

 

We note that the police entered 14.2% of polling stations. However, in 84.4% of such cases, interventions occurred at the invitation of the Presiding Officer as the rules allow.

 

Candidates were well-represented during the counting, making the process transparent and adding to its credibility. Abdulla Yameen was represented at 87.1% of polling stations during the vote count. Mohamed Nasheed was represented at 93.3% of polling stations during the vote count.

 

Only 0.11% of ballot papers were disputed by the candidate/party observers during the counting process.

 

While election day administration has been excellent, we believe that the real electoral issues are those of lack of political financing transparency, failure of the state to hold to account parties and individuals in violation of electoral offenses, the loopholes in the legal framework which paves way for abuse, all of which ultimately reduces trust and confidence in the electoral system.

 

Transparency Maldives calls on all relevant actors to reform the electoral systems to increase confidence in and improve the electoral systems in the Maldives.

 

ENDS

 

For media inquiries please contact Aiman Rasheed, Advocacy and Communications Manager on 00 960 7908967.

 

See the following links for this statement in Dhivehi and English


PRESS RELEASE

 

Date: November 16, 2013

 

Transparency Maldives thanks our observers deployed across the country for their dedication in observing the election processes. Transparency Maldives observer network has a wide national coverage spanning resorts, prisons, and abroad, including London, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Colombo, Trivandrum and Delhi.

The results we report are generalisable to the entire country. These results are based on the observation at the time of opening of polls.

 

The opening of the polls was smooth, and the administrative preparation and execution went well, showing an improvement over the previous two rounds of the Presidential Election. The Elections Commission and relevant stakeholders deserve credit for the smooth opening of polls. The opening procedure went well with 100% of all polling stations open by 8.00am and 91.89% of polling stations open within the first 10 minutes of the required opening time, compared to the first round’s 86.2%.

 

Nearly all polling station officials were in place at all polling stations. The queue controller and polling station controller were absent at only 0.9% of polling stations.

 

The materials required for voting were present and the ballot papers were counted and reconciled at all polling stations. All ballot boxes were verified as empty at the start.

 

Candidates were well represented at polling stations. One or more candidate/party observers were present at 92.4% of all observed polling stations whilst no candidate/party observer was present in 7.7% of cases.

Transparency Maldives also notes that police were present at 95.9% of the observed polling stations at the time of opening, similar to the last round.

 

Observers concluded that the polling stations were set up to ensure a secret vote in 100% of polling stations .

We encourage all parties to maintain the climate of peace. Our observers are working hard at polling stations and will be present at the polling stations till closing and during counting.

 

We will be informing you the precise time of our next press conference later this afternoon.

 

ENDS

 

For all media queries, please contact Advocacy and Communications Manager, Aiman Rasheed (00 960 7908967).

 

See the following links for the statement in Dhivehi and English


PRESS RELEASE

 

Date: November 11, 2013

 

Transparency Maldives is deeply concerned that the people of the Maldives have been denied the right to elect a President before the constitutional five-year term of the incumbent government expired on 11 November 2013. Transparency Maldives condemns the continued breach of the electoral deadlines, in contravention to the spirit of the Constitution.

 

It is regrettable that political actors failed to find a democratically inclusive solution to the constitutional crisis that respects the spirit of the Constitution. The spirit of the Constitution reflects the basic democratic principle that state power must always lie with the people and their elected representatives.

 

Transparency Maldives calls on all relevant actors to allow the people to elect a president to ensure that all powers of the state are derived from and remain with the citizens as stipulated in the Constitution of the Maldives.

 

ENDS

 

For all media queries, please contact Advocacy and Communications Manager, Aiman Rasheed on 00 960 7908967.

 

PDF versions of the statement in English and Dhivehi.


PRESS RELEASE

 

Date: November 9, 2013

 

Transparency Maldives appreciates and thanks the 400+ observers and volunteers in our observer network, based in 20 atolls and a number of foreign countries. Without them this domestic observation would not have been a success. Transparency Maldives believes that an independent observation effort at this scale promotes greater levels of trust in our electoral processes. Our observers have ensured increased public participation and the transparency of electoral processes in the Maldives.

 

The methodology used for this observation was based on systematic random sampling. Our observers collected both qualitative and quantitative data and our approach allowed us to generate results from the sample to the entire population, within a known margin of error. In this case our margin of error is less than +/- 1.5%.

 

The following are the key findings we would like to highlight.

 

48% of polling stations closed at 3:30 p.m and 96% of polling stations closed by 4.30 p.m.

 

There were reports that people were not able to vote because their names were not on the voter registry, but this affected very few cases (less than 0.35% of all voters). Out of those affected 23.1% complained at the polling stations that they were unable to vote at their designated polling location.

 

1.4% of the total voter turnout were assisted voters spread across 81.4% of the polling stations.

 

Voting was temporarily halted in 3.2% of polling stations. 85.7% of these cases were interventions at the direction of the Presiding Officer.

 

Despite a few isolated cases of reported violence (1.8%) at the polling stations, we are happy to report that this election has been peaceful. Where there were incidents of violence, they were reported to the relevant authorities, and we will be closely monitoring any further developments.

 

We note that the police entered 14.5% of polling stations. However, in 84.4% of such cases, interventions occurred at the invitation of the Presiding Officer as the rules allow.

 

Candidates were well-represented during the counting, making the process transparent and adding to its credibility. Gasim Ibrahim was represented at 83.7% of polling stations during the vote count. Abdulla Yameen was represented at 85.1% of polling stations during the vote count. Mohamed Nasheed was represented at 91% of polling stations during the vote count.

 

Only 0.15% of ballot papers were disputed by the candidate/party observers during the counting process.

 

ENDS

 

For media inquiries please contact Aiman Rasheed, Advocacy and Communications Manager on 00 960 7908967.

 

See the following links for this statement in English and Dhivehi.


PRESS RELEASE

 

Date: November 9, 2013

 

Transparency Maldives thanks the 400+ observers deployed across the country for their dedication in observing the election processes. Transparency Maldives observer network has a wide national coverage spanning resorts, prisons, and abroad, including London, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Colombo.

 

The results we report are generalisable to the entire country. These results are based on the observation at the time of opening of polls.

 

The opening of the polls was smooth, and the administrative preparation and execution went well, for which the Elections Commission and relevant stakeholders deserve credit. The opening procedure went well with 99% of all polling stations open by 8.00am and 86% of polling stations open within the first 10 minutes of the required opening time.

 

Nearly all polling station officials were properly in place at all polling stations. The queue controller was absent at 2% and the polling station controller was absent at 2% of observed polling stations.

 

The materials required for voting were present and the ballot papers were counted and reconciled at all polling stations and all ballot boxes were verified as empty at the start.

 

Candidates were well represented at polling stations. Two or more candidate/party observers were present at 94.6% of all observed polling stations whilst no candidate/party observer was present in 5.4% of cases.

 

Transparency Maldives also notes that police were present at 95.1% of the observed polling stations at the opening time.

 

Observers concluded that the polling stations were set up to ensure a secret vote in the vast majority of cases (97.5%). This was less clear in about 2.5% of all cases observed. These polling stations will be closely watched.

 

We encourage all parties to maintain the climate of peace. Our observers are working hard at polling stations and will be present at the polling stations till closing.

 

We will be informing you the precise time of our next press conference later this afternoon.

 

ENDS

 

For all media queries, please contact Advocacy and Communications Manager, Aiman Rasheed (00 960 7908967).

 

See the following links for the press statement in English and Dhivehi.


PRESS RELEASE

 

Date : 31 October 2013

 

Transparency Maldives condemns the attempts to shape laws and rules for protecting personal interests of the Members of the Parliament and abuse of parliamentary privileges and the institution of the Parliament.

 

Such attempts weaken the legal system and obstruct the rule of law. Similarly, such acts undermine the integrity of the Parliament, eroding public confidence in the institution.

 

Members of the Parliament must be provided with appropriate privileges and immunities in order to carry out their duties as lawmakers. However, Transparency Maldives reiterates its concern that the Parliamentary Privileges Act affords undue privileges and powers to the MPs.

 

Prosecutions through the courts must not be politically motivated. Transparency Maldives therefore calls on the courts, especially the Supreme Court, to ensure that cases against Members of the Parliament are treated impartially and without political motives.

 

ENDS.

 

For media inquiries, please contact Aiman Rasheed, Advocacy and Communications Manager on 00 960 7908967.

 

Please see these links for the statement in English and Dhivehi.


PRESS RELEASE

 

Date: October 19, 2013

 

Transparency Maldives is concerned that the Presidential Election had to be once again called off, and that a new date has not been set.

 

While the Constitutional deadlines for conducting the election have already been breached, we urge setting a new date immediately to ensure there is a democratically elected President by November 11, 2013.

 

The Maldivian Constitution enshrines separation of powers as fundamental and provides different roles and responsibilities to different independent institutions. As such, the Elections Commission has the mandate to conduct elections and set administrative procedures for holding such elections within the ambit of the law. Transparency Maldives therefore calls on all actors to refrain from obstructing this mandate and to respect the independence of the Commission.

 

Transparency Maldives reiterates that its extensive and systematic observation of the September 7 elections found no evidence of systematic fraud and no such evidence has so far been made public.

 

As all the powers of the state are derived from and remain with the people, and elections allow free expression of people’s will, Transparency Maldives appeals to all actors to facilitate the conduct of the Presidential Elections without further breach of the constitutionally stipulated electoral deadlines.

 

Transparency Maldives also believes that for long-term national interest and democratic consolidation, the Presidential Election must ensure the participation of all political actors and parties.

 

ENDS

 

For all media queries, please contact Advocacy and Communications Manager, Aiman Rasheed on 00 960 7908967.

 

Please see this link for the statement in English and Dhivehi.

 

Note: This post has been updated. English press statement text inserted and headline changed.


PRESS RELEASE

 

Date: October 18, 2013

 

Transparency Maldives will be conducting an independent and systematic observation of the polls on October 19, 2013.

 

To this end, Transparency Maldives has recruited and deployed over 400 fully trained election observers and volunteers across all 20 atolls.

 

As with the previous election, the observation is based on random sampling which will enable Transparency Maldives to comment on the quality of the elections for the entire country. This internationally recognized methodology has been employed in many countries.

 

The objective of Transparency Maldives observation is to build confidence in the electoral processes and promote transparency at this critical time. This systematic observation will help identify avenues to improve and strengthen electoral systems in the Maldives.

 

Transparency Maldives will hold two press conferences on election day. The first conference will be held at 1pm to comment on the quality of the opening of polls.

 

The second press conference will be held later in the evening to comment on overall election day processes including counting and closing of polls.

 

Both press conferences on election day will be held at Dharubaaruge.

 

ENDS

 

For all media queries, please contact Advocacy and Communications Manager, Aiman Rasheed on 00 960 7908967.

 

See these links for a PDF of the statement in English and Dhivehi.


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.