The Commonwealth Observer Group has commended the people of Maldives for the manner in which they exercised their right to vote at their presidential elections on 9 September 2023.
Issuing the Group’s Interim Statement at a press conference in the capital, Malé, the former President of the Republic of Seychelles and Chair of the Commonwealth Observer Group, H.E. Danny Faure, said:
“We commend the people of Maldives for the peaceful, calm and orderly manner in which they exercised their franchise on 9 September.”
Acknowledging the Elections Commission of Maldives and polling staff for the transparent and efficient manner in which the elections were conducted, the Chair of the Commonwealth Observer Group said:
“We commend polling officials for their dedication, professionalism and diligence in the conduct of their duties. Polling officials were meticulous in conducting voter verification with the electronic tablet and the voters’ register”.
The Chair of the Commonwealth Observer Group also noted that the group observed campaigning being conducted in a peaceful and vibrant atmosphere.
The Commonwealth observers, however, also raised some concerns about the pre-election environment in Maldives, noting allegations of vote-buying and a misuse of state resources. The independence and regulation of the media, and the need to continue strengthening civic education were also matters of concern for Commonwealth observers.
The Commonwealth Observer Group will expand on these issues and make recommendations to address them in their final report, which will follow.
The Chair urged all Maldivians to maintain the same commitment to peace and order in the post-election period.
Members of the Commonwealth Observer Group arrived in the Maldives on 2 September 2023. They met with a wide range of stakeholders and were deployed to various atolls, including the Gaaf Dhaal atoll, Lhaviyani atoll, Dhaalu and Haa Dhaalu atolls, Seenu and Laamu atolls for the 9 September polls.
- Yvonne Chin Irving Communications Consultant, Commonwealth Secretariat
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