MDP files over 800 voters list complaints

Main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) on Wednesday filed more than 800 complaints over the voters list for the upcoming presidential elections.

MDP deputy chairperson Ali Niyaz told local reporters that the party had shared a total 860 complaints as the deadline closed on Wednesday.

According to Niyaz, the list publicized by the Elections Commission contained 711 people under the age of 18 who would ineligible to vote, 108 deceased people while 38 names had been repeated.

"A comprehensive voters list is a right of the people. So its a responsibility of all political parties to ensure that. But its clearly a responsibility of the Elections Commission," Niyaz explained.

The commission meanwhile had announced that the crunch elections would be held on September 23 while it would open the elections for interested candidates from July 15.

Incumbent president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom is seeking re-election amid unprecedented political strife in the archipelago.

Former home minister Umar Naseer has also announced his intention to stand for the elections and already launched his campaign as an independent candidate.

The main opposition leaders including former presidents Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Mohamed Nasheed along with Jumhoory Party (JP) leader Gasim Ibrahim and religiously conservative Adhaalath Party (AP) leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla inked pact to form what they called a 'reform alliance'.

With the candidacy of the four leaders - all convicted and serving sentences on questionable charges in serious doubt, the united opposition had announced plans to nominate a single candidate for the upcoming presidential elections.

However, the coalition now seems to have fractured with Nasheed contesting and winning the highly disputed presidential primary held by his party last week.

Elections Commission had said it would not accept the result insisting that Nasheed remains a convicted criminal who is constitutionally ineligible to contest.

Nasheed however, remains hopeful that the government would yield to international pressure and allow him to stand for the elections which now appears to have created massive divisions within his own party.

The commission itself has been dogged by both local and international censure as it fends off allegations of bias against the opposition.