HRCM: Legal reforms needed to eliminate influence on election

Voters cast their ballot at a polling station in Male' during the 2023 presidential election on September 9, 2023. (Sun Photo/Abdulla Shathiu Mohamed)

The Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM), underscoring receiving complaints of various figures trying to influence the polls in the first round of the presidential election, has stressed the need for legal reforms to eliminate this.

HRCM, in a statement sharing their observations from the first round of the presidential election, underscored viral complaints on news outlets and social media regarding vote buying and promotions at place of employment on the condition of voting for a certain candidate.

Expressing concern over these allegations, the commission also cited abuse of the resources of state companies as one of their most pressing concerns.

“Have noted that the existing legal system posed obstructions to a comprehensive solution to this. The commission has previously also advocated to amend the relevant legislations to address this,” the statement read.

In their statement, HRCM also noted events that had obstructed the right to independently campaign.

They also stressed police’s acts, outside of the constraints of law, in dispersing some peaceful protests.

HRCM also urged to ensure the correctness of the registered ballot box within the 48-hour timeframe the Elections Commission (EC) has provided ahead of declaring the validity of the voters list.