The Elections Commission has revealed that the long-delayed Local Council Election will be held next March.
EC’s Vice President, Ahmed Akram Monday said the commission is working to hold the election in early March. However, the final date depends on the country’s situation with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Akram.
Akram said all administrative arrangements are being made as well as the fulfillment of necessary legal obligations. The names of contestants who have withdrawn from the race are being updated, and arrangements for online re-registration are being made, said Akram.
“We are working to set an election date for early March. However, the election will be held only if the relevnt authorities deem the country’s situation as safe to hold an election, with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Akram.
Akram added that arrangements will be made at voting centres such that three feet distance can be ensured between voters at the centres, as per the Health Protection Agency (HPA)’s recommendations. There is a possibility that the number of voting centres may need to be increased to achieve this, he added. As such changes will incur additional expenses, the election budget will also need to be revised, and the required budget must be obtained, said Akram.
The Local Council Election and the Women Development Committee’s election were initially scheduled to be held in April this year. However, the election was put off after the state of health emergency was declared in the Maldives in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.