President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Thursday ratified the first amendment to the Local Council Elections Special Provision Act 2020. Parliament passed the bill at its third extraordinary sitting held on January 19, 2021.
The Local Council Elections Special Provision Act—passed on May 10, 2020—led to the postponement of Local Council and Women’s Development Committees (WDC) elections in light of the State of National Health Emergency enforced due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Both votes were initially scheduled for April 2020.
The first amendment to this legislation requires relevant authorities to move forward with the election process despite the current health emergency. However, the proceedings should be held per the guidelines set forth by the Director-General of Public Health.
The amendment gives authorities seven days to initiate preparations and announce a rescheduled date for the vote, in addition to stipulating other provisions related to the election. Following ratification, the legislation has been published in the Government Gazette.