Voting Irregularities and Confusion Mar Ruling Coalition’s Parliamentary Primary

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In a surprising turn of events during the ruling coalition’s parliamentary primary, reports of irregularities in the voters’ list have surfaced, causing confusion and discontent among voters. Several individuals have come forward, claiming discrepancies in the electoral process.

Ahmed Shaaheen, a constituent of Henveiru Medhu, revealed that despite finding his name on the party registry and voters’ list the night before, it mysteriously disappeared when he arrived to cast his vote. Shaaheen expressed his concern, stating that approximately 329 people faced a similar issue, with their names missing from the voters’ list on the day of the primary.

Adding to the confusion, individuals who had never affiliated with any political party found their names listed on the voters’ list. Senior state broadcaster official Mohamed Afzal raised the alarm by sharing that his name was included in the voters’ list, despite not having signed up with any political party. Afzal emphasized that he had never filled out a party membership form, contradicting the information provided by the Elections Commission (EC).

Elections Commission Vice President Ismail Habeeb attempted to clarify the situation by asserting that the registry of parties is managed through a portal, with the party’s registrar having full access. However, the conflicting reports and instances of unexplained names on the voters’ list have fueled concerns about the transparency and accuracy of the electoral process.

The voting process was also marred by clashes at some polling stations, notably at Kalaafaanu School, where two ballot boxes were thrown, prompting police intervention to restore order. With a total of 227 ballot boxes and 283 candidates vying for positions in the primary, the electoral chaos has raised questions about the integrity of the entire process.

The primary is taking place in seven areas in the Male’ region, including Henveiru Stadium, Kalaafaanu School, Jamaluddin School, Thaajuddeen School, Villimale’ Youth Center, Kamil Didi School, and Rehendhi School. A total of 71,597 eligible voters are expected to participate in the joint primary of the People’s National Congress (PNC) and Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).