WDC by-elections to be held once an year

Regulations have been changed such that Women's Development Committees (WDCs) by-elections are held once a year.

According to the amendment to the WDC election rules, if the post of a WDC member becomes vacant, a member must be elected within 365 days of LGA notifying the vacancy to Election Commission. However, if 365 days or less is remaining of the term, no re-election is required.

The rule was changed due to an increase in the resignation of WDC members, increasing the financial burden of holding frequent by-elections on the Elections Commission (EC).

EC President Fuwad Thaufeek told AVAS that holding by-elections once a year would greatly reduce costs.

"Now, [by-elections of] even four or five islands may have to be held in a row- this means a lot of travel. If they are held together, the cost will be greatly reduced," he said.

The reasons for the frequent resignation of WDC members are believed to be the administrative difficulties in the islands, he said.

"When we go to the islands, we see that there are administrative difficulties. For example, there is no office to run WDCs. Some other reasons may be that they have other jobs and responsibilities that are often given priority," he said.

Although regulations have been changed to hold WDC elections once a year, a date has yet to be set. EC said a date would be fixed after consulting the LGA.

"We will try to set the date so that as many people as possible can vote. We will try to set the date after considering school holidays and other election dates so that they do not overlap. We will try to find the most convenient way," he said.