No major issues noted during election: HRCM

The Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) has stated that no major issues have been noted in the ongoing local council elections and the Women's Development Committee elections thus far.

Speaking at a press conference held by the commission on Saturday, commission members Aminath Shifaath Razzaq and Moomina Waheed highlighted some of the issues noted during the course of Saturday's election.

HRCM noted that there were no disruptions to campaign efforts on the day before the election, and said the commission believed adequate efforts had been undertaken to ensure a suitable voting environment. However, some political parties as well as individuals had continued to campaign after the 6pm deadline at which all campaign activities were to be ceased.

Member Moomina said five complaints were submitted to the commission regarding the election, three of which were filed prior to the election day. The remaining two complaints were submitted in Male' City and in Addu City, and the commission is currently in discussion regarding both complaints, added Moomina.

Moomina voiced concern that voting arrangements for COVID-19 positive patient were facilitated at the last minute, and noted that the arrangements were not fully in place. Such issues affect the vote to right, and she urged the relevant authorities to facilitate the arrangements at the earliest.

Voting was delayed at several vote centers in the atolls due to low voter turn out early morning. Expressing her concerns due to the less number of people voting, member Shifaath urged the public to cast their vote at the earliest.

'Our observers have not noticed any disturbances, unrest or major problems until now,' added Shifaath.

HRCM is observing the election in Male; City and Addu City only due to COVID-19 restrictions.