Male’, Maldives – President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Thursday afternoon, has ratified the first amendment to the Local Council Elections Special Provision Act 2020 (Act no.: 03/2020).
The bill was passed by the parliament at its third extraordinary sitting held on January 19th, 2021. The Local Council Elections Special Provision Act, passed on May 10, 2020 has led to the postponement of Local Council and Women’s Development Committees (WDC) elections in light of the State of National Health Emergency enforced due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Both votes were initially scheduled for April 2020.
The first amendment to this legislation requires relevant authorities to move forward with the election process despite the current health emergency. However, the proceedings should be held per the guidelines set forth by the Director General of Public Health.
The amendment gives authorities seven days to initiate preparations and announce a rescheduled date for the vote, in addition to stipulating other provisions related to the election. Following ratification, the legislation has been published in the Government Gazette.
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 However, many have since withdrawn their candidacy, as the election continues to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and its public gathering restrictions.