Additional MVR 51 million required to hold elections as per HPA guidelines: EC

President of the Elections Commission (EC), Ahmed Shareef | Photo: Ahmed Awshan

Male’, Maldives — The Elections Commission (EC) of Maldives informed that the commission requires additional MVR 51 million to hold the elections as the guidelines given by the Health Protection Agency (HPA).

EC informed that the current budget given to the commission is not sufficient to hold the local council elections as per the HPA guidelines as they will require additional money to cover the cost of the 10-day quarantine which every trainer from the commission is required to undergo. Every trainer of the commission are also required to do a PCR test before departure as per the guidelines and that this will need additional expenses.

A member of EC, Ismail Habeeb noted that the same procedure is not necessary for representatives of state authorities and companies, however, he asserted that impartiality must be maintained in policy making.

Habeeb also mentioned that as Maldives has already received the Covid-19 vaccine from India, he requested the state to administer the vaccine to the individuals who will be involved in overseeing the election.

The Parliament of Maldives has recently passed a bill proposed on behalf of the government, to allow the upcoming Local Council Elections to be held, despite an ongoing Medical State of Emergency.

As of now, the Elections Commission is preparing to hold the Elections of 4th April of this year. Roughly around 2,300 candidates ran for the election, which was initially planned to be held during April of 2020. However, many have since withdrawn their candidacy, as the election continues to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and its public gathering restrictions.