PRESS RELEASE

 

Date: September 25, 2013

 

Transparency Maldives reiterates its concerns regarding the adverse impacts to the integrity of the Supreme Court due to the alleged questionable conduct of Justices and failure of state institutions to resolve contentious allegations against Justices and the institution of the Supreme Court.

 

Failure to address alleged integrity issues of the Supreme Court have created avenues for political and other actors to question the conduct, injunctions and verdicts of the Supreme Court. Expeditious resolution of such allegations and issues is imperative to ease rising tensions in the election environment and prevent the derailment of democratic processes.

 

Relevant state institutions, including the Judicial Service Commission and the Parliament of the Maldives must expedite the resolution of these issues and allegations, in a transparent manner free of conflict of interest, to reduce questioning of and allegations of partisan bias in such processes.

 

ENDS

 

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

 

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


PRESS RELEASE

 

Date: September 19, 2013

 

In view of the cases submitted and allegations made at the High Court and Supreme Court of the Maldives regarding systematic vote rigging, Transparency Maldives notes that it did not find any evidence that support allegations of systematic election day fraud during the nation-wide observation.

 

Transparency Maldives conducted the only systematic and nation-wide domestic observation in the 2013 Presidential Elections. Key findings of the election observation include:

  • All ballots were counted and accounted for and ballot boxes were shown to be empty before commencement of polling;
  • Only 0.2% people were turned away because their names were not on the registry;
  • Transparency Maldives observers have not reported any incident of double voting, impersonation, underage voting or of indelible ink washing off;
  • Candidate representativeness was high during the counting process; and
  • The counting process proceeded without incident in 85.5% of the polling stations with all ballot papers accounted for. All issues raised during counting at polling stations were resolved at the stations where provisional results were announced.

Transparency Maldives appeals to all actors and institutions to refrain from undermining the integrity of and confidence in the election day processes without credible evidence of fraud.

 

ENDS

 

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

 

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


12 September 2013

At the eleventh meeting of the National Advisory Committee for Elections (NAC) held at the Elections Commission’s (EC) headquarters on 12 September 2013, Transparency Maldives (TM) sought clarifications, made comments and observations and provided advise. A summary of the details follow.

 

The meeting was convened at the request of Jumhooree Party.

 

1. Jumhooree Party made three requests: 1. Recount of all 470 ballot boxes; 2. Provide JP the voter registry with ID card information; and 3. Copies of lists of all citizens who voted at each of the 470 polling stations.

 

1.1 Recount of all 470 ballot boxes

 

The EC informed the committee that counting all 470 ballot boxes is a huge challenge provided the limited time frame; and that the legal framework does not allow for opening of envelopes containing ballot papers for recounting without a basis.

 

The EC however stressed that the all members of the commission are willing to conduct a recount of any ballot box where credible evidence of fraud is presented to the commission.

 

All of the representatives of the candidates present at the meeting, except for MDP representative advised the EC to recount all 470 ballot boxes.

 

1.2. Provide JP with the voter registry, including the ID card information

 

The EC informed the committee that the EC is unable to do so as the ID card information is private information of citizens.

 

1.3 Copies of lists of all citizens who voted at each of the 470 polling stations

 

The EC informed the committee that the EC will provide the copies of lists of all citizens who voted at the 470 polling stations only at an order of the court as the legal framework prohibits the EC from handing over the information.

Other points of note
  • EC informed the committee that the final results of the first round of Presidential Election 2013 will be made public at 3pm, 14 September.
  • JP informed the committee that from their investigations, they have so far located on the voter registry: 659 deceased persons; 1,800 non-existent entrees that do not correspond to Department of National Registration data; 6,000 people who have been moved or put under households without their knowledge; 100 repeated names; and 20 reports of underage or children whose age were increased and then voted on 7 September 2013.
About the National Advisory Committee for Elections

The National Advisory Committee (NAC) is convened by the Elections Commission (EC) 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.

Links to previous NAC meeting updates are given below.


Migrant workers sort and collect garbage in Thilafushi, an island fully reclaimed by dumping garbage into a lagoon. The migrant workers -mostly undocumented- endure toxic smoke and a heavily polluted environment daily. Oftentimes, in instances of accidents or workers who develop serious health conditions do not seek medical care as it may mean their visa status may be reported to the authorities, resulting in potential repatriation or expulsion.

Transparency Maldives conducted outreach activities in Thilafushi to provide with basic information on administrative processes, fees and access to immigration authorities. An exchange fellow from TI- Bangladesh helps us communicate with migrant workers as most cannot speak Dhivehi or English.


Transparency Maldives commends the Elections Commission for a well administered election

PRESS RELEASE

 

Date: September 7, 2013

 

Transparency Maldives deeply appreciates and thanks the 400+ observers and volunteers in our network, based in 20 atolls and a number of foreign countries. Without them this domestic observation would not have been a success. They have ensured increased public participation in and the transparency of electoral processes.

 

Our observers collected both qualitative and quantitative data on election day. The methodology used is a systematic one based on random sampling. That approach allows us to reliably 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%.

 

Transparency Maldives believes that an independent observation effort promotes greater levels of trust in our electoral processes.

 

The observer network performed magnificently. 95% of the sample was reported within 3 hours of the scheduled time for closing of polls. The following are the key findings we would like to highlight.

 

99.5% 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 0.2% of all voters). We note that only 0.05% complained at the polling stations that they were unable to vote at that location.

 

Voting was temporarily halted in 3.8% of polling stations. Half of these cases were interventions at the direction of the Presiding Officer. The remaining instances involve an unruly voter or two, or an enthusiastic political party member. The scale of these problem are minor.

 

Despite a few isolated cases of reported violence in (1.4%) of the polling stations, we are happy to report that this election has been peaceful. The incidents of violence were reported to the relevant authorities and we will be closely monitoring any further developments.

 

We note that the police entered 18.8% of polling stations. But in 80% of these cases, interventions were 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 73.7% of polling stations during the vote count. Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik was represented at 29.6% of polling stations during the vote count. Abdulla Yameen was represented at 74.2% of polling stations during the vote count. Mohamed Nasheed was represented at 91.5% of polling stations during the vote count.

 

While only 0.22% of ballot papers were disputed by the candidate/party observers during counting, in the vast majority of polling stations (85.5%), the counting concluded without any controversy.

 

82.6% of polling stations reported assisted voters.

 

From our elections observation we are confident to announce that Mr. Mohamed Nasheed made it to the second round. However, the differences in the vote counts between the second and third candidates were so close that, for statistical reasons we cannot reliably distinguish between who was second and who was third. The margin of error (+/-1%) was larger then the difference between the votes of Abdulla Yameen and Gasim Ibrahim. It is now for the Elections Commission to tally all of the votes and on the basis of a complete count to declare who will be the candidates for the second round.

 

We once again thank the stakeholders for maintaining a conducive environment for a peaceful election. ENDS

 

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

 

See these links for a PDF copy of the statement: English

 


Transparency Maldives commends the Elections Commission for the smooth opening of the polls

 

Date: September 7, 2013

 

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

 

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 99.5% of all polling stations open by 8.30 am and 83% 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 4.1% and the polling station controller was absent at 7.2% 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 82.4% of all observed polling stations. One candidate/party observer was present at 13.6% of polling stations whilst no candidate/party observer was present in 4.1% of cases.

 

Transparency Maldives also notes that police were present at 95% 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 (98.2%). This was less clear in about 2% of all cases observed. These polling stations will be closely watched.

 

We encourage all parties to maintain the 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).

 

Please see this link for the statement in Dhivehi (PDF): Dhivehi

 

 

Please see this link for the statement in English (PDF): English


TM appeals to maintain the prevailing environment of peace

Transparency Maldives long term election observation reports that campaigning for the upcoming presidential elections in the Maldives has been generally free and peaceful, and calls on stakeholders to maintain the climate of peace.

 

Nevertheless sporadic cases of violence, disruptions, vote buying, and misuse of public resources have been reported.

 

Transparency Maldives is the only independent organization conducting an extensive and systematic monitoring of the polls.

 

Transparency Maldives has deployed over 400 fully trained election observers and volunteers across all 20 atolls.

 

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. 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 at 8pm to comment on overall election day processes including counting and closing of polls.

 

Both press conferences on election day will be held at Traders Hotel.

 

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

 

Please see this link for the statement in Dhivehi: DHI_PressStatementTemplate_01 Pre election

 

Please see this link for the statement in English: ENG_PressStatementTemplate_01 Pre election


Transparency Maldives met with local media yesterday, for a briefing on our upcoming election observation.

 

Transparency Maldives is the only non-partisan organisation conducting a nationwide, extensive and systematic observation of this presidential election using a large network of over 400 observers and volunteers.

 

This observation is based on random sampling which will enable Transparency Maldives to make generalised statements on the quality of the elections for the entire country. Our methodology is based on established sampling techniques that have been used in many elections worldwide.

 

On Election Day, Transparency Maldives will be making two press statements: One, earlier in the day on Sep 7, reporting on the opening of polling stations; And the second, later in the day, reporting on the quality of the elections, throughout the election day itself.

 

Furthermore Transparency Maldives hopes to have the support of media in disseminating this information to the public, as public participation is essential to the democratic process.

 

Please call Transparency Maldives Advocacy and Communications Manager Aiman Rasheed (+960 790 8967) for media queries.


Transparency Maldives is training over 400 observers and volunteers in Male’ and all the 20 atolls in preparation of election day, as part of the domestic elections observation program.

 

Observers from HA HDh and Sh atolls

 

Observers from HA, HDh and Sh atolls

 

Transparency Maldives conducted trainings in HA, HDh, Sh, R, L, GA, GDh, and S atolls last week and three teams from Transparency Maldives are currently conducting trainings in N, B, Lh, AA, ADh, M, F, Dh and Th atolls. Additionally, observation training for about 130 observers and volunteers for Male’ are being conducted this weekend.

 

The observation training includes sessions on poll opening process, polling day proceedings, closing and counting processes, assisted voting and conduct of the police.

 

“We are overwhelmed by the positive support from the public for our observation program. We have principals, independent elected local government officials, teachers, nurses, civil servants and especially the youth as observers. We can’t thank our observers enough for all the time, energy, support and inspiration they have provided,” said Aiman Rasheed, Transparency Maldives’ Advocacy and Communications Manager.

 

26 long term observers were deployed on 15 July 2013 across the atolls with a focus on observing the preparedness of the Elections Commission, the campaign process voter education programs in the islands and abuse of state resources.

 

Second batch of observer trainings for Mal region observers

 

Second batch of observer for Male’ region

 

Download the press statement in Divehi


Press Statement by Transparency Maldives

 

22 July 2013

 

Transparency Maldives is concerned that the videos allegedly showing a Supreme Court judge engaging in immoral and illegal actions, resulting in adversely effecting the credibility and public trust of the Supreme Court is leading to irreparable damages to the democratic systems of the country.

 

All the relevant institutions of the State have a role to play in upholding the integrity of such a key institution. In this respect, Transparency Maldives believes that it is the duty of the relevant State institutions to inform the public of the facts and truth of the allegations at the earliest to protect the sanctity and trust of the Supreme Court.

 

The institutions that investigate and review such allegations should be free of partisan bias and conflict of interests and must conduct itself in a transparent manner, not allowing room for uncertainty, to ensure the integrity of the pillars of the State and the individuals that comprise these systems. Transparency Maldives calls on all relevant institutions, and especially the Judicial Services Commission, to do all it can to expedite the processes in resolving the issue.

 

–Ends–

 

Please call Transparency Maldives’ Advocacy and Communications Manager Aiman Rasheed (+960 790 8967) for queries.

 

Download the press statement in Divehi and English


If you are of age 18 or above, and not registered in a political party, would you like to volunteer to become a Short-term Observer for the 2013 Presidential Elections?

 

If you interested in volunteering as a short-term observer, below are the requirements and documents that are required:

 

Requirements:

Age 18 or above

Not registered in a political party

 

Required documents:

a) ID Card Number

b) Passport size photo (color, hard copy or soft copy)

c) Signed observer application form

d) Signed declaration/Iqraar.

 

Download the observer application form and declaration.

 

Please email the above documents, signed, to office@transparencymaldives.org

Or send the documents to Transparency Maldives office:

MF Building, 7th Floor

Chaandhanee Magu

 

For any queries please contact 9978899


President of Elections Commission Fuwad Thaufeeq addesses TMs Long-Term Observers

 

President of Elections Commission, Fuwad Thaufeeq addesses TM’s Long-Term Observers.

 

6 July 2013: Transparency Maldives has started a training programme for its Long-Term Observers for the upcoming Presidential Elections in the Maldives. The three-day training programme started on Saturday.

 

The long-term election observation the first of its kind in the Maldives will cover all atolls of the country and will consist of up to 42 observers deployed in selected islands as well as 200 plus observers on election day.

 

The LTOs will monitor areas such as campaigning, pre-election electoral processes, voter education, vote buying and misuse of state resources. The LTOs will regularly meet with all key stakeholders and seek their feedback.

 

The objectives of the long-term observation include increasing confidence in the electoral processes, increase civil society participation in the democratic process, and make recommendations on areas that could be further improved.

 

At the function to launch the training, President of the Elections Commission, Mr Fuwad Thaufeeq, addressed the participants, highlighting the need for domestic observers and the positive role of domestic observers in strengthening the electoral system.

 

The training is conducted by experts and representatives from relevant state institutions, including the Elections Commission, Anti-Corruption Commission, the Maldives Police Service, and staff of Transparency Maldives.

 

Commenting on the training, TM’s Executive Director Ilham Mohamed said: “We are excited to experiment the first ever systematic long-term domestic election observation in the Maldives. We are preparing for a comprehensive Election Day observation recruiting up to 200 observers who will be assigned to randomly selected ballot boxes.”

 

“We thank and recognize the contributions of domestic elections observers towards a credible elections.”

 

ENDS

 

For more information please contact Advocacy and Communications Manager

Mr Aiman Rasheed, mobile:+960 7908967

 

To download Dhivehi and English press releases:

 

press_election_lto_dhivehi

 

press_election_lto_english