Friday, September 20, 2013

No evidence of any election fraud: Transparency Maldives

MALE: In the backdrop of election rigging allegations, voluntary watchdog Transparency Maldives said that it did not find "any evidence" supporting the claims of fraud in the first round of presidential polls.

Transparency Maldives was one of the observer group which kept a close watch on presidential elections held on September 7 with the help of its volunteers at over 470 ballot boxes.

"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," the group said in a statement.

It appealed to "all actors and institutions to refrain from undermining the integrity of and confidence in the election day processes without credible evidence of fraud."

India and other international agencies including the UN which were part of over 100 international observers have appealed to all parties to respect the will of people expressed through results.

India has asked all sides to respect the verdict and aspirations of the people of Maldives.

"We hope that the second round of Presidential elections will be held as scheduled on September 28, 2013 in a similar transparent, organised and peaceful manner," a spokesperson of the Indian External Affairs Ministry had said yesterday.

The Jumhooree Party (JP) whose candidate Gasim Ibrahim missed the second of polls round by a whisker has alleged irregularities in the voters' list and requested the apex court to annul first round of elections.

The appeal has support of Progressive Party of Maldives whose candidate Abdullah Yameen remained runner-up.

The allegations have been refuted by the Election Commission and Maldivian Democratic Party whose candidate former President Mohammed Nasheed won the first round with overwhelming 45 per cent of total votes.

He would face runner-up Abdullah Yameen in the second round on September 28 as none of the candidate could muster up support of over 50 per cent of the voters.


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