Sunset bill forwarded to committee discussion

Maldives Parliament in session | Photo: Avas

Male’, Maldives – The Sunset bill to amend the law in order to prepone the local council elections has been accepted by the Parliament.

The election, originally scheduled for April 2020, was delayed under a special law in light of the COVID-19 situation in the Maldives. Under the law, an election could be held only when state authorities determine that it was safe to hold the election and that there was no public health emergency or risk.

The first reading of the bill was heard in the Parliament sitting held out of term last Wednesday. Preliminary debates on the bill were commenced in today’s sitting. 39 MPs voted to accept the bill and it was then forwarded to the Parliament’s Committee on Independent Institutions.

After the Committee brings any necessary amendments it sees fit, the bill would once again be sent to the Parliament where three days will be provided for amendments to be proposed by other MPs. The bill will then be asked for a vote.

The advancement of the election is framed in a way by shortening the time frame for other election-related activities. The Elections Commission is to commence work on holding the election within seven days of the bill passing the parliament.

Policies and regulations set out by the Director-General of Public Health are to be followed by the Elections Commission for the work. The Elections Commission is currently working to hold the election on April 4, 2021.