EC on election: No way to stop influence, but secrecy of vote is a surety

Election Commission (EC)'s chairman Fuad Thaufeeq. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Hayyan)

Elections Commission’s President Fuad Thaufeeq, remarking that complaints of influence are received during every presidential election, has stated there is no way to stop it.

Speaking to Sun regarding the presidential election – Fuad said that candidates conduct themselves in various manners in order to influence elections. Underscoring that not much can be done to stop this, Fuad said that EC’s guarantee for everyone is the secrecy of the votes they cast.

“Candidates have the opportunity to use offices under their oversight to create additional posts and make appointments for such posts among other things,” he said.

Fuad believes that EC is incapable of stopping such acts. He added that candidates, in order to influence elections, use much smarter tactics.

Fuad said that things such as providing employment opportunities and distributing money in order to influence elections are not only done by candidates within the government, but also by candidates involved in businesses.

Election Commission (EC)'s chairman Fuad Thaufeeq. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Hayyan)

“Therewith, we will grant the opportunity to vote in secrecy. No matter what kind of pressure is posed, what good deed is done, there will be the free will to vote for any candidate of choice,” he said.  

“Urging not to change your votes over such things. The vote can be cast in secrecy, There will be no way of knowing who the person voted without them revealing it,” he added.

Fuad also noted that many people were being intimated with claims of cameras being placed at polling stations which record who a person is voting for. He emphasized that EC would ensure no such incidents occur.

Fuad also said the influence on elections is a pressing concern for EC. Nevertheless, he stressed that there was no way for the commission to stop this due to the constricting authority granted to them by law.

“Some candidates are claiming they do not distribute money. But, for example, there might be a small plant when they enter a home. The candidate might say they are buying the tree, and giving the residents of the home a large sum of money. Then the candidate will say even if they bought the plant, to keep it in the house. Such tactics are used,” he detailed.

Fuad said that influence and corruption allegations with respect to the presidential election will be probed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). Thus, he added that such complaints submitted to EC will also be probed by ACC.