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


Advocacy & Legal Advice Center (ALAC) is a separate center established within Transparency Maldives (TM) to provide free legal advice to victims and witnesses of corruption. The citizens can pursue corruption related complaints by:

Calling ALAC’s toll-free number: (800) 3003 567

 

Visiting ALAC office: MF Building, 7th Floor, Chaandhanee Magu, Male’

 

Via email: alac@transparencymaldives.org

 

ALAC, in addition to free legal consultation also conducts outreach programs to create public awareness about the detrimental effects of corruption.

 

ALAC would work with the government, independent institutions, NGO’s, private law firms and other relevant organizations and, would undertake advocacy to bring about broader systematic changes needed to tackle and curb corruption.

 

ALAC was officially launched on June 10, 2012, and it is the first legal advice center established in the Maldives to provide free legal services.

 

Prior to its launching, ALAC has worked in building relationship and establishing working partnership with several key stakeholders. This initial pre-launch work resulted in successful signing of ALAC’s first MoU with Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) of Maldives. In addition to that, initial meetings have been held between ALAC and 18 other key institutions including government ministries, independent state institutions and judiciary. MoU drafts have been sent to 11 of these institutions and discussions are on-going on finalizing and signing the MoUs.

 

The successful official launching ceremony, with media coverage and invitees from public and private sector opened the opportunity to introduce ALAC to the general public and encourage citizens to actively participate in anti-corruption work.

 

Speaking at the ALAC’s launching event, the chief guest, President of ACC Mr. Hassan Lutfy said “the center would make the Commission’s work a lot more efficient”. Mr. Lutfy also expressed his satisfaction with TM’s effort in abolishing corruption, the assistance TM provided to ACC, and called the stakeholders to lend their support to ALAC.

 

ALAC Launching

 

IMG_0350

 

IMG_0353

 

From day one of ALAC’s successful official launching, ALAC’s toll-free line has received several calls and many have visited ALAC office to sought advice.


Asia Pacific Regional Program meeting Asia Pacific Regional Program meeting[/caption]

 

Transparency Maldives participated in the Transparency International Asia Pacific regional annual planning meeting held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia from the 12th to the 14th of June 2013. This year’s meeting was hosted by Transparency International Cambodia. 24 Transparency International chapters in the Asia Pacific region attended the meeting. The meeting focused on programmatic work, advocacy and communications, emphasizing on regional cooperation.

 

During the meeting all the 24 Transparency International chapters expressed serious concern regarding persistent corruption in the region and called on governments in the region to strengthen their commitment to transparency and accountability, and to step up their anti-corruption measures.

 

The regional planning meeting was followed by a meeting of the South Asia chapters to discuss the progress of National Integrity Contextual Assessment (NICSA) and to plan the next phase of the research and to plan out regional interventions for the release of the regional NICSA.

 

Transparency Maldives was represented by Ms. Ilham Mohamed, Executive Director, and Mr. Mohamed Thoriq Hamid, Program Manager.


Elections Commission publishes the voter registry of eligible voters for the presidential election 2013. Deadline for voter verification is 9 June 2013, 04:00pm. To ensure that you are able to vote, check your information online at www.elections.gov.mv

 

If there are any problems in the information, fill in this form and send to Elections Commission with a copy of your National ID card or Passport or Driver’s license.

 

If your information is correct and you wish to vote in a place different from the address on the voter registry, you will get a chance to re-register when Elections Commission open for re-registration.

 

How to check your information:

1 – Send a message to 1414 with the key word VIS (space) Your National ID Card Number

2 – You could also visit the Elections Commission website and enter your National ID Card Number to view your details

3 – Call 1414

4 – Voter registry published on gazette and on Elections Commission website

 

Where can you send your complaints?

1 – Elections Commission

2 – Presidential Elections 2013 registration center

3 – Island Councils

4 – Email to vreg@elections.gov.mv

5 – Fax to 300 7905

6 – Help Desks located at different areas of Male’


BHithaadhoo Voter Education

 

TM team with the participants of the voter education program, B.Hithaadhoo

 

Transparency Maldives has commenced a voter education programme focusing on elections and democracy, importance of informed choice and the negative impacts of vote buying.

 

TM travelled to B. Hithaadhoo (2-4 May 2013) and has planned to conduct voter education in Thinadhoo, Gadhdhoo, Gemanafushi and Viliginli from Thursday (9 May 2013) onwards.

 

The current phase of the programme is targeted at island communities. However, TM will expand the programme in the run-up to the elections, utilizing broadcast media and social media to reach out to a wider audience.

 

In the meantime, TM is also collaborating with Maldives Broadcasting Corporation in their voter education campaign, Votah Tayyaaru program broadcast live on TVM, Dhivehi FM and Dhivehiraajjeyge Adu on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday respectively of every week.

 

TM’s Pre-Election Assessment found that there is an immense need to conduct voter education to address the sociopolitical and trust issues and minimize the negative influence of money in politics i.e. vote buying in elections.


NGO Forum

 

Transparency Maldives has called for stronger anti-corruption safeguards in climate finance in the outcome document which was presented to Minister of Environment Dr Shakeela at an NGOs forum held on Sunday.

 

The outcome document included thirteen key recommendations to the government, including ensuring access rights such as participation of citizen bodies in government’s decision making on issues of sustainable development and environment.

 

Transparency Maldives Chairperson, Mohamed Rasheed Bari, made a presentation to the forum participants on the topic of strengthening NGOs role in environmental governance. Azim Zahir, TM’s senior project coordinator, led the discussions on NGO recommendations to the government.

 

Mr Bari also called on the government to strengthen governance mechanisms by including stronger standards of transparency, accountability and integrity.

 

The NGOs forum, organized jointly by NGO Federation and the Ministry of Environment and Energy, focused on NGOs role in environmental governance and management.

 

Dr Shakeela promised the government would seriously consider all the recommendations.


Transparency Maldives met with the members of the Elections Commission on the 3rd of April to discuss on implementing the key recommendations in its recently published Pre-Election Assessment. The EC welcomed TM’s report and assured the commission’s consideration of the findings of the report. Recommendations in the report regarding the legal electoral framework, voter education, and elections dispute resolution were discussed at the meeting.

 

Transparency Maldives met the EC on April 18, to discuss recommendations proposed by Transparency Maldives to the Presidential Elections Regulation 2013.

 

General recommendations proposed by Transparency Maldives regarding the complaints system, early convening of the national advisory board, voter issues, campaign financing, and media issues were discussed.

 

In addition to it’s meetings with Elections Commission Transparency Maldives has met with and continues to meet with stakeholders including the public broadcaster Television Maldives, Anti Corruption Commission of Maldives to advocate for changes to the electoral framework and push for recommendations identified in the Pre-Election Assessment 2013.


TM releases its pre-election assessment

 

TM releases its pre-election assessment.[/caption]

 

A pre-election assessment conducted by Transparency Maldives has concluded that trust and confidence in the political system, relevant institutions and institutional processes, needed to be increased and maintained for holding successful presidential elections later this year.

 

The assessment, which was based on interviews with key stakeholders and focus group discussions, highlighted the need for increasing and maintaining confidence in the electoral administration and processes, and recommends the Elections Commission to proactively and regularly engage with relevant actors.

 

“Several interlocutors we met highlighted that there was a need for the Elections Commission to be more proactive. There is a concern that everyone was not on board as the EC prepares for the elections”, TM’s Advocacy Manager Aiman Rasheed commented.

 

Similarly, the assessment recommended that institutions such as the judiciary that handles any case affecting the electoral rights of voters and candidates must ensure public confidence and must be unquestionable.

 

The assessment also found that a crisis of confidence and trust in politicians sincerity to deliver on their promises was one of the main reasons for the practice of vote buying.

 

As a key recommendation, the assessment calls on the EC, the media and the civil society, to organise urgent voter education and constructive public debate around issues.

 

In the assessment, the elections complaints and dispute resolution system was described as broken and lacking stakeholder trust.

 

“Almost all of the interlocutors we met described the electoral complaints system as an utter failure,” said Mr Rasheed.

 

Part of the solution we propose is establishing an interagency task force between relevant institutions such as the Police, the Prosecutor General, the Anti-Corruption Commission, and the EC.

 

We have also recommended for urgent reforms to the electoral legal framework to establish an independent complaints tribunal, and better regulate the most problematic areas such as political finance and interagency jurisdictional issues.

 

Without such reforms, what the assessment calls the culture of misuse of state resources could not be addressed too, Mr Rasheed added.

 

The pre-election assessment is part of TM’s comprehensive Elections Program to conduct nation-wide observation of the upcoming elections.

 

The assessment was released at a press conference on Thursday.

 

To download the assessment tm_pre_election_assessment

 

To download Dhivehi press release elections_pressrelease

 

Media contact:

 

Aiman Rasheed, Advocacy and Communications Manager

Mobile: +960 7908967

Email: aiman.rasheed@transparencymaldives.org