The National Integrity System of the Maldives is based on three compound structures of key institutions: the core government agencies of Legislature, the Executive and theJudiciary the public sector agencies, the Civil Service and Law Enforcement Agencies the Elections Commission and Anti Corruption Commission, Auditor General’s Office the Media and the Civil Society Organisations, Political parties and private sectorBusiness.

The methodology and guiding questions applied for the research are developed by Transparency International and are based on the concept of a strong National Integrity System (NIS) to ensure a sustained and strong control over corruption in all areas of the society. Visit http://goo.gl/eALDRV to learn about the NIS concept.

The conceptual framework of the National Integrity System (NIS) stresses the role and interplay of a broader institutional framework of the State, including ‘anti-corruption agents in government, civil society, the business community and other relevant sectors, in ‘building [the] momentum, political will and civic pressure for relevant reform initiatives’ required to reduce and eliminate corruption in public service. Therefore, in assessing the National Integrity System (NIS) of the Maldives, it is important for the assessment to investigate that process, and the outcome of interplay between institutions. This study draws up conclusions and recommendations with due consideration to that interplay. Recommendations provided in this study should be read reflecting on the factors that affect this interplay and its outcomes.

Political bias created through intermingled political thinking and practices embedded in key political institutions, including the Legislature and the Executive, reduces the capacity of other institutions to function independently. Moreover, political bias embedded in the institutional framework further reduces the level of accountability, transparency and integrity functions of almost all the institutions.

The legal framework, starting with the Constitution that provides and guarantees basic rights of people in the Maldivian society, establishes a notable legislative framework for the good governance of socio-economic activities. However, the broader legal framework lacks adequate organisational structures and capabilities, and this weakens the adaptive efficiency of that legal framework to practically execute institutional tasks in the most effective manner. Further, this institutional weakness lies with weak historical institutions or traditionally transmitted historical undemocratic constitutional rules that are embedded in the current political system. The Maldives only created a democratic political system after the enactment of its first-ever democratic Constitution in 2008. Prior to that, the Maldives followed a Constitution that was built on pre-1965 monarchical practices, and encompassed a Constitutional Government with weak political institutions, vesting excessive powers in the rulers or policy-makers. Although the Constitution of 2008 created a democratic Constitutional Government, the traditionally transmitted undemocratic political practices are also embedded in the new politico-institutional framework, thus weakening the overall institutional framework, and leaving room for mis-governance and political malpractices. Hence, the political and legal institutions in place to govern the society are also weakened, reducing their capacity to create and uphold national integrity.

View/download our press statement on NIS in Dhivehi.
View/download the National Integrity System Assessment, Maldives 2014

Download
National Integrity System Assessment, Maldives 2014


Transparency Maldives’ (TM) survey, Democracy at the Crossroads, points to a crisis of public confidence in key democratic institutions. Citizens are cynical. Politicians, they think, lie to get elected and they don’t believe that the government cares about ordinary people.
The nationwide survey aims to encourage informed debate of democratic norms and about the performance of democratic institutions.
“This [the survey] shows that citizens are less likely to meaningfully participate in public matters and in holding public officials accountable. If so, it will ultimately lead to impunity and corruption,” Mariyam Shiuna, Executive Director of TM said.

Crisis of confidence

Citizens lack confidence in their key representative institutions. 62% of survey respondents say they have no confidence at all in the parliament. And 58% have no confidence in political parties. 50% and 46% citizens lack confidence in local governments and courts respectively. These results are similar to TM’s Global Corruption Barometer surveys from 2012 and 2013.
77% of Maldivians identify “politics,” which includes conflict, corruption and the party system, as the most important problem facing the country. Half of the public is dissatisfied with the way democracy operates in the Maldives.
Maldivians give political leaders a low rating. None rate better than average.

Cynicism, democratic values and social order

86% of Maldivians say that the government does not care about ordinary people and 92% of Maldivians believe that politicians are “ready to lie to get elected”, showing extraordinarily high levels of cynicism in comparison to similar transitional democracies.
Citizens are critical of the social order: 84% think that power is concentrated in the hands of too few people.  The good news is that 90% of the public believe dialogue is the way to solve the country’s problems. The bad news is that 1 in 3 think that violence is sometimes a necessary response to social injustice.
Maldivians are not enthusiastic about gender equality. A majority think men make better leaders than women. Remarkably, more women than men support the idea that men make better leaders than women.

Is there hope?

“Democratic institutions must take extraordinary measures to regain the trust of the public and the public must step up to hold public officials to account,” said Aiman Rasheed, Advocacy and Communications Manager. “Levels of confidence in institutions is a key indicator of the levels of corruption in a system,” he added.
This is the first systematic survey on democracy conducted in the Maldives and provides important benchmark data. The random sample of approximately 1,000 citizens provides a margin of error of +/- 3.0% and the findings are generalisable to the entire country. The questions asked come from surveys that have been repeatedly used and tested around the world.
ENDS
For all media queries, please contact Advocacy and Communications Manager, Aiman Rasheed (00 960 7908967).

Click to view/download the report ‘Democracy at the Crossroads’ 

Click to view/download this statement in Dhivehi
Click to view/download this statement in English


PRELIMINARY STATEMENT
MALE — (23 March 2014) — Transparency Maldives (TM) appreciates and thanks all observers and volunteers in our observer network, based in 20 atolls and Colombo and Kuala Lumpur. The observers were key to the success of the observation. TM hopes that an independent observation effort at this scale has instilled greater levels of trust  in our electoral processes. The results we report are based on random sampling and are generalisable to the entire country.

1. Polling day
The election day processes were transparent and generally well-administered. We are happy to report that the election has been peaceful with just one reported incident of violence inside a polling station. TM congratulates Maldivian citizens for their spirited engagement in the democratic process.

The following are the key findings which we would like to highlight from our observation. 83.52% of polling stations closed within the first hour of the normal closing time of 4:00 p.m.

Voter registry was overall very clean, with a very few cases where people were not able to vote because their names were not on the voter registry or their details did not match. Assisted voters were spread across 84.1% of the polling stations.

Voting was temporarily halted in 2.4% of polling stations. 75% of these cases were interventions at the direction of the Presiding Officer while 25% were interventions by an unruly voter.

We note that the police entered 12.35% of polling stations. However, in 100% 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. Maldivian Democratic Party was represented at 89.4% of polling stations during the vote count. Coalition parties were represented at 88.8% of polling stations during the vote count. Only 5.9% of polling stations did not have a party/candidate observer present at the opening of the polls.

Unresolved disputes were reported at only 5.3% ballot boxes at the time of announcing results.

However, TM calls on all actors to take immediate measures to address wider issues, including vote buying, lack of transparency in political finance, abuse of state resources, barriers for women’s equal participation in the electoral processes, and bring long overdue reforms to the electoral legal framework.

2. Vote buying
In a survey conducted by TM in the run up to 2013 presidential elections, 15% of respondents reported that money or other incentives were offered in exchange for their vote. Admissions about illegal activities such as this are usually underreported in surveys. TM’s long-term observation indicates that vote buying may be even more widespread in the parliamentary elections than other elections.

Inability of state institutions to prosecute vote buying due to gaps in the electoral legal framework, lack of coordination, and buck-passing between the relevant institutions have allowed rampant vote buying to go unchecked.

TM recommends to all relevant institutions to monitor, investigate and prosecute vote buying through implementation of the existing legal provisions and recommends to the Parliament to bring urgent reforms to the laws to better address the issue.

3. Lack of Political and Campaign Finance Transparency
Deep flaws in the standards, practices and poor oversight have led to the lack of transparency in political and campaign financing in elections, including the parliamentary elections. When political parties and individual candidates do not fully disclose where they get their money from, it is not clear who funds them, what their potential conflict of interests are, and, thereby allows vested interests to override public interest when elected as MPs.  Similarly, Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer surveys for the Maldives continue to indicate a crisis of public trust in the Parliament. Increasing campaign financing transparency in parliamentary elections is crucial to hold parliamentarians to account, in order to prevent the hijack of the institution by vested interests and regain public trust in the Parliament .

TM recommends addressing the gaps in the electoral legal framework and implementation of existing provisions to facilitate public scrutiny, ensure periodic reporting and an effective oversight mechanism for political finance.

4. Women Political Participation
Only 23 women out of 302 candidates contested the Parliamentary Elections, out of which only five were elected according to the provisional results. The Maldives is currently ranked 129th place in the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s index of parliaments in terms of gender balance. Relevant authorities should identify and address the barriers for women’s equal political participation.

5. Other Issues
Additional issues that need to be addressed are:

  1. Abuse of state resources and authority by successive regimes, allowing those in power to campaign at the expense of the public purse;
  2. Constituency delineation legal framework and processes that result in assignation of voters to constituencies not based on their domiciled residencies, robbing voters of effective representation;
  3. Instances where secrecy of the ballot  may be compromised when a few people are registered to outside their constituencies (for example, 2,947 cases of single voters; 1,070 cases of two voters; and, 502 cases of three voters);
  4. Lack of effective  long-term voter and civic education on issues such as vote buying, political finance transparency and equality of women in political participation; and,
  5. Uncertainties arising from the role of the judiciary in elections and, in particular, the 16-point guideline issued by the Supreme Court. TM reiterates that the guideline does  not improve upon the technical aspects of the election and recommends that any concerns the guideline intends to tackle be addressed through legislative reforms and within constitutional boundaries.

Transparency Maldives congratulates all winning candidates and urges all relevant actors to reform the electoral systems to increase confidence in and improve electoral systems in the Maldives. A final report on the findings with recommendations will be published within a month of conclusion of elections.

ENDS

For media queries, please contact Advocacy and Communications Manager, Aiman Rasheed on 00 960 790 8967.

Click to view/download this statement in English
Click to view/download this statement in Dhivehi


PRESS RELEASE 

Male – (22 March 2014) –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 in Kuala Lumpur and Colombo.

The results we report are based on random sampling and 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 went well. 79% of all polling stations opened by 8.10am, 20% of polling stations opened within the first hour of the required opening time, and 1% of polling stations opened between 9am and 10am.

Nearly all polling station officials were in place at all polling stations.

The materials required for voting were present and the ballot papers were counted at 100% of the polling stations. 100% of ballot boxes were verified as empty at the opening of the polls.

Candidates were well represented at polling stations. Only 10% of the polling stations did not have a party/candidate observer present at the opening of the polls. Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) observers were present at 78% of polling stations while 81% of polling stations had observers from the coalition parties, at the opening of the polls.

Transparency Maldives also notes that police presence was visible at 93% of the observed polling stations at the time of opening.

Observers concluded that the polling stations were set up to ensure a secret vote in 98% of polling stations. Transparency Maldives observers will be closely monitoring the 2% of the polling station where the secrecy of the ballot may be compromised due to the layout of the polling station.

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 until the polls are closed and the results are announced.

ENDS

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

Click to view/download this statement in English
Click to view/download this statement in Dhivehi


PRESS RELEASE
Male – (20 March 2014) – As in the Presidential Election 2013, Transparency Maldives will be

fielding the only nation-wide domestic elections observation mission comprising over 300 trained

observers and volunteers, spanning all 20 atolls and foreign countries.
Through its election program, Transparency Maldives seeks to increase citizen participation in and

transparency of electoral processes. Transparency Maldives’ systematic observation will help identify

areas for further improvement in electoral processes and practices.
The outcome of the election is not necessarily decided on Election Day itself, and hence, the pre-

election environment must provide a level-playing field for all candidates, free from obstructions

to campaign and for the voters to make an informed choice free from undue influence. To this end,

Transparency Maldives is also conducting long-term election observation in addition to election day

efforts. Transparency Maldives’ long-term observer network has been functional since 1 March 2014.
Though the pre-election environment is largely peaceful, Transparency Maldives has identified

vote buying, allegations of abuse of authority and state resources, and the lack of political financing

transparency as major issues of concern through the long term observation.
Transparency Maldives notes the resolution of the uncertainties over the timely conduct of the

elections following the Supreme Court’s 16-point guideline from the Presidential Election 2013 and

its judgement to remove the President and Vice President of the Elections Commission.
Transparency Maldives calls on all parties to continue to maintain the prevailing environment of

peace on and following the Election Day, and utilise the established electoral resolution mechanisms

in resolving any disputes.

Transparency Maldives will be releasing a press statement on the processes of opening of polls in the

afternoon of the Election Day, and a statement on the Election Day processes, closing and counting

of ballots the following day. A final report on the findings with recommendations will be published

within a month of conclusion of elections.
Media Contact: Aiman Rasheed, Advocacy and Communications Manager. aiman.rasheed@

transparencymaldives.org (+960 790 8967).

Click to view/download this statement in English
Click to view/download this statement in Dhivehi


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.


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.