Local Council elections to be held in March 2021

Elections Commission VP Ahmed Akram | Photo: Fayaz Moosa

Male’, Maldives – Elections Commission of Maldives (EC) has said that preparations are underway to hold Local Council and Women’s Development Committee (WDC) elections in March of next year.

ECM Vice President Ahmed Akram said today that work is underway to hold the aforementioned elections that were delayed due to COVID-19 earlier this year. However, he added that the elections will only proceed if the pandemic situation has toned down and if relevant authorities give their consent to hold the elections.

Akram said that legal and administrative work are now being carried out and with around 40 candidates having withdrawn from the elections, they doing necessary updates. They are also working to set a deadline for candidate withdrawal and establishing an online system for re-registration.

In an interview Akram said ” We are now working to hold elections in early March, but they will be held after assessing the COVID situation then, and after relevant authorities say the elections can be held. Administrative work is now going on, such as updating names of withdrawn candidates . right now the safest way to proceed is online , thus we are working to make online re-registry possible”

Furthermore, Akram said that under Health Protection Agency’s (HPA) guidelines, voters need to be 3feet apart from each other when in queues, and work to obtain facilities that will allow for this is going on. It is also possible that the number of voting centers could see an increase from previous elections, which will result in additional expenses. They are now working to increase their budget due to these predicted additional expenses.

The Local Council and Women’s Development Committee (WDC) elections were scheduled to be held in April this year before the global pandemic resulted in a National health emergency and delayed the elections without a set date.