Maldives: Joint opposition boycotts meeting with EC, alleges bias

The allied opposition parties are boycotting the Elections Commission’s meetings ahead of the ballots slated for later this year, claiming that the commission is serving the interests of the ruling party.

The commission, the statutory body tasked with regulating political parties and setting up elections, announced this week that they will be meeting with local political parties, separately.

Rajje Tv quoted opposition Jumhooree Party’s secretary-general Ahmed Sameer saying that his party and its coalition partners will not be attending any meetings with the commission. He said they would not give the commission the information they have asked for.

Sameer further added that the commission’s ‘duplicitous’ intent in this regard was made blatantly obvious by slashing the process of inclusive meetings where all parties are present, and opting for separate meetings.

The parties have previously taken issue with the commission’s recently appointed president, Ahmed Shareef, who is a known supporter of the government. His appointment was expedited in parliament and he was sworn-in to the commission and appointed president just within a day.

On the other hand, Elections Commission member Ahmed Akram told media persons that they have not asked any parties for additional information any political party. Akram said that the commission is not asking for any information, but wants to ‘provide information’ to the political parties.

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