The Presidential Election will be held on September 9 this year.
The date of the election was announced by the Elections Commission (EC) at a press conference at the Manhattan Business Hotel this morning.
EC's President, Fuwad Thawfeek, said if the election goes to a second round, the voting of the final round would be held on September 30. This year, 280,000 people are eligible to vote in the election, he said.
EC's Vice President Ismail Habeeb said the National Complaints Bureau and the Atoll Complaints Bureaus would be formed soon. He said the commission was assured that the Voice of Maldives building would be arranged as the main center for the presidential election but that the building has yet to be handed over.
According to EC, 600 ballot boxes will be set up for this year's election.
Four candidates have announced their intention to contest this year's presidential election thus far: They are President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed, Maldives National Party (MNP)'s President Mohamed Nazim, and former Home Minister Umar Naseer. Jumhooree Party (JP), and Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) have also said they would put forth candidates in the upcoming election.
Meanwhile, the opposing PPM-PNC coalition has presented their presidential ticket to their leader, former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom. However, the Criminal Court sentenced Yameen to 11 years in jail for money laundering and bribery on December 25 last year. Therefore, President Yameen will not be able to contest the upcoming presidential election until the Criminal Court's sentence is quashed by a higher court.
A budget of MVR 90 million has been allocated in this year's budget for the presidential election. However, EC has asked the Finance Ministry to allocate a budget of MVR 120 million for the polls.
EC estimates that the first round of the presidential election will cost MVR 95 million. The figure is expected to rise to MVR 120 million if a second round of elections is held.