Joint Opposition Press Statement- Elections Commission Handed Opposition Re-Registration Forms to Ruling Party, Audio Recordings Suggest

23 August 2018, MALE: New audio recordings strongly suggest that the Elections Commission (EC) has been directly involved in voter fraud, in a stunning new example of how the supposedly independent electoral body is colluding with President Yameen to steal the 2018 presidential elections.

The audio recordings suggest that the EC handed over opposition voter re-registration forms to President Yameen’s campaign office.

MDP Campaign Official, Former MP Mohamed Gasam has recorded and publicised a number of calls he received from the President’s campaign office.

Mohamed Gasam had submitted his mobile number as a secondary contact number for many voter registration forms MDP supporters filled in Colombo, Sri Lanka, as the Elections Commission requires a local contact number. Gasam’s number was recorded only in the registration forms the MDP submitted to the Elections Commission.

Days later, Gasam’s mobile started receiving numerous calls from President Yameen’s party, the PPM. Gasam received calls from telephone numbers 7252509, 7360497, 7252551, 7252603, 7621554, 7252511, 7252565. These numbers are all registered to a PPM activist and Yameen crony.

Gasam recorded some of the calls he received. The callers introduce themselves by explaining they were calling from the PPM campaign office, and some said they were calling from “Muleeaage.” When Gasam enquired how they had got hold of his number, they hung up. In an apparent attempt to cover up the fraud, the same people called him back from the same number claiming they were calling from the Maldivian Democratic Party.

There is no other obvious way the PPM campaign office would have got hold of Gasam’s number, other than they had been given a copy, or details from, the re-registration forms he submitted to the Elections Commission. Only the Elections Commission had these re-registration forms. It also explains why Gasam received many calls from the PPM, rather than just one: because his mobile number was written on many re-registration forms.

This is not the first time the Elections Commission has been caught funneling voter re-registration forms to the ruling party. In July, a leaked video showed the First Lady and President Yameen discussing how civil servants’ re-registration forms were being sent to the ruling party for “vetting” before being passed onto the Elections Commission.

The newly leaked audios appear to substantiate accusations that Elections Commissioner Ahmed Shareef is colluding with President Yameen and the PPM to rig the voter’s list. The audios also show that the President is using state resources – his official residence of Muleeaage – for election campaign purposes.

Ahmed Shareef is a former senior official of President Yameen’s political party, and the Commission is stacked full of other government-appointed cronies. The European Union has warned that it will consider imposing stringent, targeted sanctions — including travel bans and asset freezes — on individuals involved in undermining the fairness of the 2018 presidential election.