Officials will have no effect on election polls: EC

Vice President of the Elections Commission (EC) Ahmed Akram has stated that utilizing government officials in the upcoming elections will have no influence over the election polls.

During an interview with Raajje TV on Saturday night, the commission's Vice President said that they were in need of at least 12,000 officials for the upcoming local council elections. He further revealed that they will be affiliating with government officials, state companies and political parties in order to attain this number of officials.

"Acquiring 12,000 officials is not an easy task. We will be requesting political parties and state company's for their aid", Akram said.

The commission had previously included government officials, state companies, and PPM activists as officials in the presidential elections during the reign of former President Yameen Abdul Gayyoom.

In relation to this decision, scores of opposition parties expressed disdain and criticism. They said this was done in order to influence election polls.

However, Akram said on Saturday night that while government officials, state companies, and political parties may be established as officials, they will not have any influence over the outcome of the elections.

According to Akram, media personnel and association members will act as monitors observing the conduct of party representatives of candidates at the voting centers. While representatives will have the opportunity to mark those arriving to vote, Akram expressed his disbelief that there is room for treacherous behavior.

"I don't believe anyone would participate as an official to cheat the elections. Moreover the Elections Commission will not conduct activity in a way that allows for such acts. None of the established officials will deter the validity of these elections", he said.

980 councillors will be contending in the upcoming elections. EC revealed that over a million ballot papers need to be printed, and a total of 12,000 officials need to be acquired.

These are the first elections including such a massive line-up of candidates. This amount was accumulated as per recent amendments to the Decentralization Act, through which members of the women's committee will also be contending in the local council elections.

The 2020 local council election is slated for April 4.