The Maldives CEC sacked before polls

The Maldives Election Commission has sacked its chief ahead of presidential polls in September, an official said Monday, triggering opposition fears it would be able to hold a free and fair vote.

Fuwad Thowfeek, the president of the five-member Elections Commission, was removed following a majority no-trust resolution, the official told AFP.

“He was voted out, but remains in office until the decision is ratified by parliament,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih is seeking re-election in the September 9 polls in the tiny Indian Ocean atoll nation of about 380,000 Sunni Muslims.

Five opposition parties expressed concern over the commission’s ability to conduct the polls after Thowfeek’s sacking.

A new party, The Democrats, a breakaway faction of Solih’s Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), claimed the commissioners who voted him out are close associates of Solih.

“The party is concerned that such actions will cause instability within the institution this close to the elections.”

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