Opposition snubs election body

Opposition snubs election body
April 10 16:54 2018

Opposition parties have snubbed a meeting with the Elections Commission, as they boasted about their progress to field a unity candidate for this year’s presidential polls.

The EC meeting was intended to give information about the ballot and the regulation of political parties, but the opposition boycotted it and questioned the body’s independence.

“First they invited us for an all-party meeting,” Ahmed Sameer, Jumhooree Party secretary general, told reporters on Monday. “Then later decided it will be separate meetings. What they are trying to do is find out information that President Abdulla Yameen wants. So we are not ready to give that information to the EC.”

An EC spokesman told local media it was unaware of any boycott and believed that all parties would attend the meetings.

The snub came as the opposition alliance said  there had been progress in the talks to field a single candidate against the ruling party.

“We can see our candidate,” Sameer told reporters. “Our candidate is prepared. We don’t need to know at this moment if our candidate is in jail or in another country or in Maldives.”

While the opposition is engaged in talks to field a single candidate, both the Maldivian Democratic Party and JP have started work on their manifestos for 2018.

Sameer said individual efforts were not a barrier to a single candidate. He said individual manifestos could be joined to create a manifesto for the unity candidate.

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