EC: We verify re-registration forms; there’s no wrongdoing

Elections Commission (EC)'s Vice President Ismail Habeeb speaks at a press conference on July 12, 2023. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Shaathiu)

Elections Commission (EC)’s vice chairman Ismail Habeeb says that though the commission has received over 25,000 re-registration forms for the presidential election runoff, each application is approved following verification, adding that the commission has complete confidence the process does not involve any wrongdoing.

Re-registration for the second round of voting in the presidential election opened at 03:00 pm on Friday, and will continue until 03:00 pm on Sunday.

According to the EC, 25,493 voters applied for re-registration within the first two days.

The opposition PPM-PNC coalition has questioned the figure, alleging that the applications were fake forms to influence the results of the election.

But Habeeb told Sun that the commission approves re-registration applications after verifying their authenticity.

He said that voters will be allowed to submit complaints regarding the voter’s list.

Habeeb said that there is no room for wrongdoing, and said that he was certain that nothing like what the opposition is alleging has taken place.

EC said it has re-registered 10,271 voters, and rejected 1,546 applications due to incomplete information.

“The commission called all of them for verification. We also publish it on our website and send the information to parties. Therefore, it would be good for the parties to check as well. Also, once the list is open for complaints, everyone can perform their civic duty and check for themselves, right?” he said.

Habeeb said that even voters who apply online must submit a live photo.

“The Elections Commission verifies the information. Political parties can check too, along with individuals,” he said.

Habeeb suggested there were two main reasons for the high re-registration requests; that they want to vote somewhere outside Male’ because of the four-day holiday after the election, or that they were unable to re-register during the first round.

282,395 people were eligible to vote in in the first round of voting – held on September 9. With 408 more people who will become 18 by September 30, total 282,803 people are eligible to vote in the runoff.

The voter turnout in the first round on September 9 had been 79 percent – the lowest turnout in a presidential election.