Transparency Maldives urges to stop abuse of state resources for President Solih’s campaign

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. (Photo/MDP)

Transparency Maldives, on Sunday, has called on to stop the abuse of state resources for President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s campaign for the upcoming Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) presidential primary.

In a statement on Sunday, Transparency Maldives condemned the use of the hashtag and other wordings used in President Solih’s campaign for MDP presidential primary in social media posts and tweets of the state media, Public Service Media (PSM).

Underscoring that Articles 46 and 47 of the Political Parties Act prohibited any of the state’s buildings, property or resources for the benefit of a political party – Transparency Maldives emphasized such acts would question the integrity of the election in addition to voters losing their right to independently choose a candidate without undue influence.

The statement also said that Transparency Maldives’ election observations have taken note of and condemned the issue of funding campaign activities through the people’s money and state property and resources to benefit a certain individual of a certain party in every election held after 2008’s presidential election.

The organization stressed that their advocacy to bring amendments to the law to tackle such issues as well as their advocacy to increase accountability of authorities that investigate such matters have been given a deaf ear by each administration – taking a step back to facilitate an environment for an independent and fair election.

“This administration was elected with a pledge to formulate a policy on ‘Zero Tolerance to Corruption’ to eradicate corruption. What is observed in each election since the government took office are state resources being abused and infringement of people’s right to vote,” the statement read.

Citing these reasons, Transparency Maldives called on the government to stop the abuse of state resources and take steps towards ensuring a transparent, independent and fair election in addition to complying with the pledges made on eradicating corruption.

The organization’s statement comes after MDP’s leader, Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed has also expressed concern over the same issue. Nasheed, who is President Solih’s opponent candidate in the primary, has strongly criticized President Solih for taking part in a campaign event during an official visit to an island.