EC refutes claim it's deliberately stalling PNC registration process

President of Elections Commission (EC), Ahmed Shareef (C) speaks during a press conference. (Sun Photo/Ahmed Awshan Ilyas)

Elections Commission (EC) has denied the People’s National Congress (PNC)’s claim the commission is deliberately stalling the registration process of the new political party.

EC, last Tuesday, announced it had provided PNC with a second opportunity to submit membership forms for registration after the commission found over 2,000 of the forms invalid.

Official founder of PNC, former deputy leader of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), Fonadhoo MP Abdul Raheem Abdulla has accused EC of having a “personal vendetta” against the party. And accused EC of “criminal practice” and “deliberate” attempt to stall the registration process.

Member and Spokesperson of EC, Ahmed Akram has responded that the commission is not involved in any criminal practice.

“The commission works to assure the rights of members of political parties. And to assist in the registration process. The commission does not believe verifying the authenticity of membership forms is a crime,” said Akram, in an interview to ‘Sun’.

Akram pledged EC’s assistance in the registration process of PNC. And said the commission was currently verifying the new membership forms submitted by PNC last Tuesday.

PNC originally submitted 4,000 membership forms on January 9, out of which only 1,950 forms were ruled to be valid.

The minimum membership forms required for registration of a new political party is 3,000.

Abdul Raheem has accused EC of discrimination and bias against PNC. He said that the commission had processed membership forms of other political parties within three days, but was verifying each and every membership form submitted by PNC out of a personal grudge.