The Elections Commission (EC), in response to a viral video showing two Indian observers being harassed for allegedly being too close to a voting booth, has condemned the confrontational actions of some local election monitors against foreign observers.

The video on social media shows a local monitor, with elections credentials, aggressively exchanging words with two Indian observers ordering them to leave the polling station for allegedly encroaching on a voting space. The observers being harassed also bore credentials.

“When someone we have issued credentials to acts in such a way as to harass others that we have also issued credentials to, regrettably we have to revoke those credentials [of the harassers],” EC Vice President Ismail Habeeb said.

According to EC, the two Indian Observers who were harassed were commissioners from the Indian Elections Commission and were on duty at the polling station.

“We invited them, we accredited them, we issued them credentials, they were under our [duty of] care, and they were here because they were interested in observing our elections [process],” Habeeb said.

The incident occurred against the backdrop of the opposition Progressive Party of the Maldives and the People’s National Congress (PPM/PNC) coalition’s ‘India Out’ campaign, which has been critical of the government’s foreign policy stance and its refusal to divulge details about Indian troops in the Maldives.