EC: There’s room ensure a free and fair election

Elections Commission members during a press conference. (Photo/Sun/Ahmed Awshan Ilyas)

Current environmental factors are favorable enough to ensure a free and fair parliamentary elections, says Elections Commission (EC).

Speaking during a press conference by PPM and PNC last Saturday, interim leader of PNC, Abdul Raheem Abdulla said the opposition alliance had sent letters to EC and the Parliament requesting a delay in the upcoming parliamentary elections due to lack of confidence over a free and fair election.

Spokesperson and member of EC, Ahmed Akram confirms the commission received the letter from PPM and PNC last Saturday.

He said the commission would discuss the request this Sunday.

“The commission will discuss this today. But the commission believes there is no legal reason why the elections should be delayed. The elections will go ahead as scheduled,” said Akram.

“The commission believes the current environmental factors are favorable enough to hold free and fair election like the Elections Commission wants,” he added.

PPM and PNC made the appeal to delay the elections following the arrest of former Maldivian President and Leader of PPM, Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.

Yameen was charged with money laundering and providing false testimony to State investigators following Maldives Police Service’s investigation into the USD 1 million - believed to be embezzled funds in the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) scam – deposited to his account at the Maldives Islamic Bank (MIB) by SOF Private Limited.

Yameen was arrested pending the outcome of his trial on February 18 following review of evidence submitted by the State to show he attempted to tamper with the State’s witnesses in the case by offering them bribes.