Friday, May 24, 2024

Transparency Maldives urge authorities to address allegations of vote-buying in parliamentary elections

MALE, APRIL 23: Transparency Maldives has urged the authorities to address allegations of vote-buying in the just-concluded parliamentary election that was won by Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu-led People’s National Congress party.
The NGO also urged the authorities to address the abuse of state resources and barriers to women’s equal participation in politics, the news portal reported on Monday.
In a thread on X after sharing a late Sunday night statement on the election’s administrative matters, Transparency Maldives called on all actors to address the problem of vote-buying and the lack of political and campaign finance transparency. “TM continued to observe the abuse of state resources through the campaign period, including the inauguration or completion of projects”, the NGO said.
The election was generally well-administered, the NGO said in the statement released last night. However, Transparency said it observed several attempts to unduly influence voting in recent days.
Transparency’s statement noted that large projects were announced by state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and state institutions in the 48 hours before the polls opened.
“Ceremonies held to mark the awarding or inauguration of at least 6 development projects, worth over MVR 680 million, posted on the official social media accounts of state-owned enterprises and Government Ministries with 48 hours to go for Election Day”, the statement noted.
The ruling PNC won 68 out of 93 seats in Sunday’s polls and its coalition partners Maldives National Party (MNP) and Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) won 1 and 2 seats, respectively, which is more than two-thirds of the parliament, providing the party with an easy supermajority and the power to amend the Constitution.
The Transparency statement also expressed concern with the Government transferring the jurisdiction of different lagoons and uninhabited islands to the administrative areas of 3 islands 4 days before the elections, reported.
The statement about SOEs and Government agencies unduly influenced the elections. (PTI)