Commonwealth advises to follow special protocol in extending voting period

The Commonwealth has advised the Elections Commission to extend voting time under a special protocol.

During Saturday's parliamentary election the Elections Commission extended voting hours by two additional hours due to the scorching heat experienced on voting day.

The delegation of observers from the Commonwealth who monitored Saturday's election noted the extension in a statement issued following the election.

The team of observers stated that although it is within the legal mandate of the Elections Commission to decide voting hours, extension of voting hours have to be decided responsibly.

"When bringing changes to the allocated voting time on election day, unforeseeable circumstances have to be taken into account", said former PM of Jamaica Bruce Golding who headed the delegation.

The observers further commended the Elections Commission on the organization and smooth conduct of the election,.

A detailed report on the observer's findings will be submitted to the Secretary General of the Commonwealth by the delegation.

After being a member country of the Commonwealth for 34 years, Maldives withdrew from the Commonwealth during former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom's rule. The movement had accused the Commonwealth of interfering with the country's civil issues before withdrawing from the organization.

However, under incumbent President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's 100 day pledges, the government has already requested to rejoin the Commonwealth.

Elections Commission has previously revealed that over 30 international observers were monitoring the parliamentary election.