EC urges to disregard any influence when casting vote

Elections Commission (EC)'s Vice President Ismail Habeeb speaks at a press conference on September 29, 2023. (Sun Photo/Maahil Athif)

Elections Commission (EC), on Friday night, has urged the public to vote for their best choice of candidate in the runoff round of the presidential election – disregarding any influence.

Speaking at a joint press conference held by EC and Maldives Police Service on Friday night – EC’s Vice Chairperson Ismail Habeeb pointed out the right to vote as a fundamental element of a democracy. He added that every individual, by law, is entitled to the right to vote without any undue influence. Habeeb further said it was a huge responsibility of every Maldivian citizen and urged them to fulfill the responsibility utmost honorably.

“The chance to vote in a presidential election comes once every five years. It is a crucial opportunity. An opportunity to fulfill a very important national responsibility. An opportunity facilitating a say in the future of the nation,” he said.

“Therefore, every individual must choose who they will vote for, at their will, without bowing down to any influence,” he stressed.

Habeeb said arrangements at all polling stations have been made in a manner to ensure voters can cast their vote without any influence. On this note, he detailed that arrangements have been made for voters to tick their own choice of candidate.

EC’s Chairperson Fuad Thaufeeq who also spoke at the press conference appealed to the public to return home peacefully after casting their vote.

Elections Commission (EC)'s chairman Fuad Thaufeeq speaks at a press conference on September 29, 2023. (Sun Photo/Maahil Athif)

“We assure you there is no influence in the arrangements we have made. We also request full cooperation from the public to carry this out peacefully,” he added.

Polling stations will open at 8:00am on Saturday and is set to close at 5:00pm.

Total 282,804 people are eligible to vote in the election runoff on September 30. This includes 144,410 female voters and 138,394 male voters.

The election runoff will see opposition PPM-PNC’s presidential candidate Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, who won 46 percent of votes in the first round, face off against MDP’s Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, the incumbent president, who won 39 percent.