Maldives opposition makes fresh vote rigging allegation

Maldives' opposition alliance presidential candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Monday made fresh allegations of possible vote rigging against the country's electoral watchdog ahead of the presidential elections on Sunday.

Speaking during a campaign rally in Meemu Atoll Dhiggaru island, the veteran lawmaker accused the Elections Commission of planning not to show each and every ballot paper to the observers and monitors at the polling stations during vote counting.

"They [EC] are now saying that they would not show every ballot paper before announcing the result. They will only show individual ballots if there is any issue," Solih alleged.

Solih was adamant that by law, the commission was required to hold up each and every ballot during vote counting.

Elections Commission has come under heavy opposition criticism over alleged moves to undermine free and fair elections in the Maldives.

The opposition had been incensed over the use of tablets at polling stations by the commission which it said was another planned move to rig the elections.

The elections widely seen as a referendum more than an elections, would be a two horse race between incumbent president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom who is seeking re-election and opposition alliance candidate Solih who has been backed by Yameen's main political rivals including the now jailed former presidents Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Mohamed Nasheed.