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.


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.


Press Statement by Transparency Maldives

 

24 August 2013

 

Transparency Maldives calls on the Supreme Court judges to maintain integrity of the institution of the Supreme Court and publicise the court order/statements made by the four judges that halted the appointment of Fathimath Reenee Abdul Sattar as a member of the Civil Service Commission and the preceding statement by the Chief Justice.

 

Transparency Maldives remains concerned about the recent actions of judges leading to the loss of public trust in the Supreme Court, especially in the current climate of political instability and in the run up to Maldives’ second multi-party Presidential Elections, where the Supreme Court may be tasked with providing a verdict on contentious issues.

 

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

 

Download the official press statement in Dhivehi: Press statement Supreme Court integrity and FOI issues 220813


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


The decree -which has not been publicized- by President Waheed Hasssan to make the CoNI investigation documents secret underscores the need for a comprehensive freedom of information regime.

 

Click to read/download Transparency Maldives’ statement calling on the President to make the presidential decree public, and calling on the relevant authorities, especially the Parliament to expedite the passage of a freedom of information legislation.


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


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