'Campaign financing need to be transparent to eliminate vote-buying'

The Commonwealth observer group deployed to observe Maldives’ 2019 parliamentary elections has stated that campaign financing by candidates parties needs to be transparent to eliminate vote-buying.

The detailed report issued by the team said the parliamentary election proceeded smoothly and fairly.

However, the report noted some recommendations for future elections.

The team noted the issue of vote-buying, and further recommended to conduct audits into campaign finances for more transparency.

Other recommendations

- Political parties should take deliberate measures to ensure women occupy positions of leadership and young people are engaged in policing formulation.

- Persons, including those on the Dhaftaru Register (a register for persons residing in the capital, Male, who do not have a permanent address in Male) should be entitled to vote in their residing electoral constituencies for a minimum specified period.

- Prohibitions against vote-buying need to be enforced in accordance with the requirements of the Elections (General) Act 2008.

-All campaign financing by candidates and parties needs to be transparent,accurately recorded, audited and published.

-The voting time on polling day should be enshrined in legislation.

-Ensuring that no voter with a disability is disenfranchised.

It also recommended the newly constituted parliament to spare no effect in working to achieve the people’s wish for strong and independent democratic institutions, impervious to any improper influence.

The report raises concerns about the low participation of women as only 35 of the 386 parliamentary candidates were women. It recommended that the parliament and political parties play their part in fully implementing the country’s 2016 Gender Equality Act.