Discussions to be held with parties to determine if election should be delayed

Discussions will be carried out with political parties to establish if there is enough reason to delay the upcoming local council election amid COVID-19 detection in Maldives, the government has revealed.

Speaking at a press conference held Sunday, Tourism Minister Ali Waheed, in answer to a question asked by a reporter said the government alone cannot make the decision to delay the election. The decision can only be made after discussion with other political parties, he said.

However, the minister did not reveal further detail on the discussions.

Two expatriate employees at Kuredu Island Resort have tested positive for COVID-19 in the Maldives. They contracted the virus from an Italian tourist who recently holidayed on the island. The tourist had tested positive to the virus upon his return back to Italy.

Temporary restrictive measures have now been initiated at the island, with all entry and exit from the island prohibited. An orange alert has been issued for the island while the rest of the country remains on yellow alert.

While the World Health Organization (WHO) has been urging to avoid gatherings and crowded areas, many have been calling to delay the election slated for April 4. Commissioner of Elections Ahmed Shareef Adam had earlier stated that the election will be delayed for as long as the law allows if the situation worsens.