'EC committed to conducting free and fair election'

Elections Commission (EC) has assured that the commission would put forth the results of elections as chosen by the voters.

The electoral watchdog's statement comes amid claims by the opposition that main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) were able to succeed in the 2019 parliamentary election due to the commission having granted additional time for voting. President of Peoples' National Congress (PNC), Abdul Raheem Abdulla had claimed, referring to EC, that 'they did whatever they did' to ensure that MDP won the election during the additional time granted for votning. He hcalled on members and supporters of the PPM-PNC coalition to cast their vote before 1400hrs on the voting day for the upcoming local council election.

During a press conference held Saturday, Deputy President of PPM, Ibrahim Sujau had alleged that the Elections Commission intended to rig the results of the vote.

Responding to Sujau's allegation, Deputy President of EC and Chief Spokesperson of the commission Ahmed Akram said there is no basis to the opposition's allegations. The time a vote is cast on will not have an effect on the outcome of the election, said Akram.

Akram further said EC is committed to conducting a free and fair election. The commission has not interfered with the results of any elections held to date, asserted Akram.

"The results will be displayed according to the ticks you place on the ballot paper. Voting before or after a certain time does not affect the result; the results will not be changed," said Akram.

The opposition had previously alleged that the Elections Commission had colluded with MDP to ensure they won the 2018 presidential election. They further accused that the commission members were financially compensated by the then-opposition. Leader of PPM and former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom himself had accused electoral fraud, and made serious allegations against the commission members.