EC indicates minimum 30-day preparation period for gov't system referendum

The Elections Commission (EC) has said the preparations for a referendum on changing the Maldives' government system would require a minimum of 30 days.

At a Parliament session held on September 13, Hulhudhoo MP Ilyas Labeeb introduced a resolution calling to conduct a referendum on changing the existing government system from a presidential system to a parliamentary system. Originally proposing a referendum before November 30, MP Ilyas Labeeb adjusted the timeline during today's session, seeking the vote's completion by October 30.

Following the Parliament's acceptance of the resolution and its referral to the Committee of the Whole House, the Elections Commission's Vice President, Ismail Habeeb, said as per the General Elections Act, a timeframe of 30 to 45 days would be necessary to facilitate the referendum process, with an estimated cost of approximately MVR 40 million. Habeeb also noted that it is the Elections Commission's legal responsibility to educate the public about the pros and cons of different government systems during such referendums.