2023 Election: Budget not enough for two rounds, says EC

The Election Commission has said that only one round of elections can be held with the MVR 90 million allocated for the 2023 Presidential Election in the proposed budget for next year.

Responding to a question by AVAS, the Election Commission's Vice-President Ismail Habeeb said the Election Commission requested a budget of MVR 120 million for the upcoming election.

“We requested a budget of MVR 120 million after estimating the total cost by including two rounds, in case a second round of the presidential election needs to be held,” Habeeb said.

Habeeb said although MMVR 90 million is not a small amount, it is the minimum cost for the first round of the presidential election. The number is determined based on previous elections, he said.

"If we go to a second round, there will not be many additional costs for ballot paper printing, officials' allowances, transportation, and procurement. Therefore, we can utilize the amount leftover from the first round and add what we need to, to hold the second round,' he said.

Habeeb added that no government in the past has ever given the budget requested by the Election Commission for any election. Therefore, if the presidential election goes to a second round, he is confident that the government will provide the budget when needed, similar to previous elections, he said.

The Election Commission has not yet set a specific date for next year's presidential election.