HPA to give EC approval to begin preparations for Local Council elections

Elections Commission (EC) President Ahmed Shareef | Photo: Mihaaru

Male’, Maldives – Health Protection Agency (HPA) will give Election Comission (EC) approval to begin preparations for Local Council elections that were cancelled earlier this year do to Covid-19, according to EC’s President Ahmed Shareef.

During an interview to “PSM” , President Shareef said that HPA have given the Elections Commission unofficial counsel that the EC will be allowed to start preparations for the elections before the officially set date, and that even though HPA has not withdrawn the currently declared state of emergency, the law states that if the HPA assents to it, the elections can continue.

This comes after MP of Hulhumale’ Constitueny and Chairperson of the Parliament’s Committee on Decentralisation, Ali Niyaz requested the government earlier this month that the relevant authorities must give the Election Commission the opportunity to do necessary preparations for the upcoming local council elections.

Speaking at a Parliament meeting on the 6th of December , Ali Niyaz said that the Elections Commission said that due to the current pandemic and the extended public health emergency, it may not be possible to have the local council elections on the scheduled date and that the government authorities must make it possible for the Election Commission to have the council elections on the scheduled date.

Ali Niyaz said that the Election Commission now needs the permission to do the internal preparations which are necessary for the elections and that as he does not believe that there is a legislative obstruction in the way of granting this permission to the comission, the government authorities must allow the commission to carry out their work.

In addition to this, MP Niyaz said that there is no benefit which the country can gain from further postponing the elections as some of major powers given to the local councils have been declined under the revisions brought to the special law concerning local councils.

The local council elections were initially scheduled to be held in April. However, due to the current Covid-19 pandemic in Maldives, the elections were postponed and is now to be held on March 6th of 2021.