Commonwealth election observers will be deployed to the Maldives for the second round of voting in the 2023 Presidential Election. Voters will be returning to the polls after none of the candidates secured more than 50 per cent of the votes in the first round held on 9 September.
The second round of the election, between the incumbent, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, and Dr Mohamed Muizzu of the People’s National Congress (PNC) / Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) coalition, will be held on 30 September.
The former President of the Republic of Seychelles, H.E. Danny Faure, who led the Commonwealth Observer Group for the first round as Chair, will remain in the role. He stated:
“Our mandate is not over yet, and we look forward to completing it. We are happy to return to the Maldives to observe this run-off, as a demonstration that the Commonwealth is committed to the people of the Maldives and will continue to support the country’s democratic processes.
“On 9 September, we saw the Maldivian people exercise their right to vote in a peaceful and orderly way. We observed officials conduct their duties transparently and efficiently. As we prepare to observe the second round, we call on all stakeholders to continue to meet the high standards shown in the first round.”
As with the first round, Observers will be briefed by a range of stakeholders, including election management officials, representatives of political parties, civil society groups, the police, members of the diplomatic community, citizen and other international observers, in order to fully understand the evolving political environment ahead of polling.
The Group’s assessment of the preparations for the election, the polling, counting and the results process, as well as of the overall electoral environment, will help inform its second interim statement which is expected to be issued on 2 October.
In carrying out its work, the Group will act impartially and independently, and will conduct itself according to the standards expressed in the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation, to which the Commonwealth is a signatory.
At the conclusion of its mission, the Commonwealth Observer Group will submit its report to the Commonwealth Secretary-General, and the report will later be presented to the Government of Maldives, the Election Commission of Maldives, political parties and Commonwealth member governments, before being released to the public.
The members of the Commonwealth Observer Group for this second round of elections, in alphabetical order by country name, are:
• H.E Danny Faure, Former President of the Republic of Seychelles (Chair)
• Hon Maryan Street, Former Cabinet Minister, New Zealand
• Professor Cynthia Barrow-Giles, Professor, Constitutional Governance and Politics, University of the West Indies, Saint Lucia
• Mr Mahdev Mohan, Former Nominated Member of Parliament and Lawyer, Singapore
• Professor Mandla Mchunu, Former Chief Electoral Officer, Electoral Commission, South Africa
• Mrs Bobbi Rogers, Manager, Corporate Communications, Elections and Boundaries Commission, Trinidad and Tobago
• Ms Anji Hunter, Senior Public Relations Adviser, Edelman and Former Head of UK Government Relations, United Kingdom