K. Male'
23 Apr 2024 | Tue 17:02
Former Chief Election Commissioner of India, Dr. Shahabuddhin Yaqoob Quraishi
Former Chief Election Commissioner of India, Dr. Shahabuddhin Yaqoob Quraishi
Parliamentary Elections 2024
Polling booths were set up to ensure secrecy, it was a good system: Shahabuddin
The observers were impressed with the seating arrangements for voters inside the booth
He said everything went about with clockwork precision
He said they learned a lot of things that could be done in the Indian elections

Former Chief Election Commissioner of India, Dr. Shahabuddhin Yaqoob Quraishi has stated that the secrecy of the ballots were ensured from the way polling booths were set up in the recently concluded parliamentary elections of Maldives.

Maldivians poured out into polling stations across the nation for Sunday’s polls, to elect parliamentarians for the 20th tenure of the People’s Majlis.

Speaking at a press conference hosted on Monday, Dr. Shahabuddhin shared their observations during the polling process. Shedding light on the way the polling booths were set up, he said that making voters face their back to the rest of the polling station instead of the wall, was not something done in India and that in India, voters had their back to the wall.

He said this was being done in Malé for a good reason, as behind the screen they would have been able to take pictures on their mobile phones and replace the ballot paper with something they were carrying inside their pocket if their backs were against the wall instead.

So I think it was a good idea, but we were very watchful, all of us, to see whether it is violating the secrecy. But we found that, the bodies were fully covering the, the stations in, and what they were marking was not even remotely, distinctly visible to us. So, so therefore we think it, it's a good, system. And so long as, secrecy of the ballot is protected, that's the good thing.”
Dr. Shahabuddhin Yaqoob Quraishi, Former Chief Election Commissioner of India.

Noting that they were a team of 19 observers from nine countries, divided into four teams, Dr. Shahabuddhin noted that they were dispatched to different regions and then later got together to compare notes to see their impressions.

Noting that everything proceeded with clockwork precision and that booths opened on time, he stated that the process was very orderly, very peaceful and very civilized, adding that they were impressed by the seating arrangements for voters inside the booth, under a fan.

He said that this was impressive because in India, queues would be made outside, under the scorching sun.

Adding that the staff was extremely polite and very courteous, Dr. Shahabuddhin stated that they even visited prison facilities where they observed that all prisoners had cast their ballots by 10am.

Highlighting that this was something new for India, Dr. Shahabuddhin noted that they had a lot to learn from Maldives.

Then, it was also delightful to see that most of the staff, almost 90 percent of staff were ladies, which is very good. then counting began on time. Again, very peaceful, very orderly. In every polling station there were about five, six, eight or ten observers and monitors. In every station, we asked them whether they were satisfied, if they were all right and if they had any complaint, not one of them mentioned any complaint.”
Dr. Shahabuddhin Yaqoob Quraishi, Former Chief Election Commissioner of India.

He added that the double online monitoring and physical monitoring of the voters was also something “very good”, stating that it was very responsible that there was a system in place to identify male and female voters.

Touching upon their visit to the coordination center, Dr. Shahabuddhin stated that it was nice to see the setup of the election team in Maldives, with the systems, live streaming and inputs coming in.

Dr. Shahabuddhin remarked that the team was returning “very happily” and “satisfied” that this was a very “well-conducted” election, with credibility.

Before concluding, he emphasized that they did not come across a single complaint, which was something to be appreciated.

Last updated at: 3 weeks ago
Reviewed by: Fathimath Zuhaira