372 seats reserved for women on local councils

372 seats will be reserved for women in the upcoming local council elections.

Elections Commission on Wednesday revealed the number of seats allocated for women in April's election as per the recently amended Decentralization Act which mandates 33% of any council to be occupied by women.

As per the amendment, 372 women will be elected to island councils in the 2020 local council election for the reserved seats. This leaves the remaining 372 seats up for grabs which can be occupied by both men and women. While an additional 179 people will be elected as council presidents, a total of 923 councillors will be elected to island councils.

Elections Commission said 18 people will be elected as atoll councillors, and a total of 197 councillors will sit on atoll councils, including the presidents of all island councils.

While 12 women will be elected to each city council, both men and women can contest for the remaining 24 seats on the city councils. A mayor will be elected for each of the three cities, bringing the total number of councillors on each city council to 39.

Therefore, a total of 980 officials will be elected in the 2020 local council elections, said the Elections Commission.

The local council election is slated for April 4, 2020. Elections Commission is working to organize and conduct a seamless election different from other years as the council election is bound to be more complicated and challenging than both the presidential and the parliamentary election. The election is estimated to cost between MVR 65 to 70 million.