Improving the Electoral Process in the Maldives
Following the Maldives’ election cycle of 2013-2014, which encompassed presidential, parliamentary and local elections, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) worked with the Election Commission of the Maldives (ECM) to organize a three-day, multi-stakeholder symposium entitled “Improving the Election Process in the Maldives” from August 18-20, 2014 that focused on the lessons learned from the elections and launched the electoral reform process.
High level officials attended the symposium including: politicians (Members of Parliament and representatives from the five major political parties), a High Court judge, and representatives from the Attorney General’s (AG) Office, Prosecutor General’s (PG) Office, Maldives Police Service (MPS), Department of National Registration, Civil Service Commission, Anti-Corruption Commission, civil society and media. Stakeholders presented on topics such as voter registration, electoral complaints adjudication, participation of women in elections, campaign finance, the legislative framework and coordination among key stakeholders. International and domestic observers, including the Commonwealth Secretariat, the European Union Election Observer Mission, Human Rights Commission of Maldives and Transparency Maldives, also shared their findings.
After the symposium, a detailed list of the main issues in the electoral process and recommendations were shared with all stakeholders for final comments. An expert Electoral Reform Working Group was formed to work on amendments to electoral regulations and legislation. The Working Group is comprised of officials from the ECM, AG, PG and MPS, parliamentarians from the major political parties, and IFES’ local electoral law expert. The Attorney General said that the draft amendments to electoral legislation will be submitted to Parliament by the end of 2015.