Electoral body changes tune to denounce electronic voting

Maldives' electoral body appeared to change its stance over electronic voting saying that such a system was not needed in the archipelago.

Elections Commission (EC) had attempted to introduce e-voting for September's presidential elections, but was forced to shelve such plans due to lack of time.

EC had also announced plans to introduce an e-voting system for the parliamentary elections next year.

However, speaking during a press conference on Tuesday, elections chief Ahmed Shareef said the commission had backtracked on its decision as an electronic voting system was quite unpopular.

Shareef explained that shifting to an e-voting system was unnecessary for a country with such a small population.

"We never even considered or had planned for an outcome that would result in a huge legal process after the presidential elections," Shareef said referring to the legal challenge filed by defeated president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom claiming electoral fraud which he eventually lost.

The elections chief suggested that Maldives could use an electronic system for people wishing to vote outside their native islands to register adding that such a system would solve most of the issues currently facing re-registration.

However, Shareef quickly pointed out that the parliamentary election comes too soon to introduce a new re-registration system.