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
Aiman Rasheed, Advocacy and Communications Manager
Mobile: +960 7908967