Local Elections: Duration to submit voter’s list complaints reduced

A polling station official ticks off a voter's name during the presidential elections in 2013. | Photo: Raajjemv

Male’, Maldives — A special bill presented regarding the upcoming Local Elections states that the the duration given to complain about the voter’s list and the time given to present the complain to the court will be reduced.

A special bill has been presented to the People’s Majilis on behalf of the government regarding the upcoming elections to provide special laws as a way to avoid further postponement of the Local Council Elections.

The new bill includes of reducing the duration given to complete and assess each component of the local elections so it can be held at the earliest after postponing the elections over two times.

This is why, the bill states that the Elections Commission must start preparing for the elections within a maximum of seven days and that it should be in accordance with the rules and regulations given by the Director General (DG).

While the initial law stated that the elections cannot be held during State of Public Health Emergency in the country. However, the amended bill allows the Commission to hold elections if they adhere to the rules given by DG.

Along with this, the bill also states that the duration of six necessary components must be reduced to ensure that the elections are kept without further delay.

While the law regarding elections states that the voter’s list must be revealed 45 days in advance of the elections. However, the amended bill states that it should be revealed within 30 days of the elections.

The bill also states that only five days will be given to present complaints regarding the voter’s list and only three days to find a solution regarding the complaints. The current law however allowed the people ten days for complaints regarding the voter’s list and five days for it to be solved.

Along with this, the duration for several other things were reduced as well to hold the elections as soon as possible. An amendment to the bill is presented as the previous bill does not inform of what should be done if the country is in a State of Public Health Emergency. This is why, to amend and pass the bill, the Majilis has scheduled to hold a meeting this Wednesday.

While the elections were at first scheduled to be held on April 2020, the commission had to postpone the date due to the surge in the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases. Later on the elections were being scheduled to be kept on March 06th until HPA declared that the State of Public Health Emergency has extended yet again.

Although Elections Commission initially said that the elections will be postponed again, the President of Election Commission (EC), Ahmed Shareef announced on Wednesday that both the Local Council Elections and the Women’s Development Committee Elections will be held on April 3, 2021. He revealed no further details as to how the elections will be held despite having the State of Public Health Emergency in the country.