Voting begins for the Local Council Elections

Voting has commenced for the Local Council Election and the Women's Development Committee Election.

Voting will be open from 7am until 6pm on Saturday. Vote centers have been set up in all inhabited islands across Maldives and a large number of resorts and industrial island. Vote centers have also been set up in India and Sri Lanka.

Although voting commenced at 7am in most islands, there were delays in opening the vote centers in two islands: M Raiymandhoo and V Thinadhoo. Voting began in Raiymandhoo and Thinadhoo at 08:30 am.

Although the Elections Commission Friday said voting cannot commence in Th. Vilufushi until after 9 am due to 18 vote officials being quarantined, the issue has now been resolved after the commission chose new officials from the island.

The polling queues will be closed to the public at 5pm. The hour after 5pm is the designated voting time for those who have tested positive for COVID-19 and for those who are in quarantine. The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has permitted such individuals to exercise their right to vote.

982 council members and 930 Women's Development Committee members will be elected in Saturday's vote. This includes 19 atoll councilors, 178 island council presidents, 370 council seats allocated for women and 370 seats allocated for both genders. Additionally 18 members, including a mayor will be elected to Male' City Council, 12 members for Addu City Council and 6 members each for Fuvahmulah and Kulhudhuffushi City councils.

Candidates from nine different political parties and a large number of independent candidates are contesting in Saturday's election. Main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) put forward 1476 candidates for 826 council seats and 650 candidates for Women's Development Committees. 1146 candidates will be representing Opposing Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) - 647 candidates for council seats and 499 candidates for women's development committees.