Long queues of eager voters seen as local council elections begins

People queued up to vote in 2021 Local Council Elections on April 10, 2021 | Photo: Sun

Maldives – Local Council Election (LCE) and Women’s Development Committee (WDC) election kicks off with long queues of eager voters in most parts of the Maldives.

Local Council Election (LCE) and Women’s Development Committee (WDC) election started at 07:00 and will be carried out until 18:00. While normal voting hours are set to be from 07:00 till 17:00, covid patients, people in quarantine and people in isolation are to vote after from 17:00 till 18:00.

While President of Elections Commission, Ahmed Shareef had guaranteed that everyone turning 18 by April 10, can vote in the upcoming, EC revealed that they have released updated voters list now. Elections Commission also added that out of the 273,182 eligible voters, 5,134 are those who turned 18 within the year by which the election was postponed. 

Local Council Election – Candidates details

  • MDP – 826 candidates
  • PPM – 647 candidates
  • JP – 115 candidates
  • Adhaalath Party – 28 candidates
  • MDA – 20 candidates
  • MRM – 15 candidates
  • MLSDP – 4 candidates
  • DRP – 1 candidate
  • Independant– 609 candidates

Elections Commission also revealed that 2,264 candidates will run for council and 1,670 candidates will run for Women’s Development Committees (WDC) in the election which is to be held on April 10, 2021.

Women’s Development Committees (WDC) election – Candidates details

  • MDP – 650 candidates
  • PPM – 499 candidates
  • JP – 46 candidates
  • Adhaalath Party – 25 candidates
  • MDA – 15 candidates
  • MRM – 4 candidates
  • Independant– 427 candidates

The Local Council Election was originally supposed to be held on 4 April 2020, but due to the alarming increase of Covid-19 cases in Maldives, the country had gone into a lockdown, and the election was delayed by a year to 10 April 2021.

The Parliament had to pass a special bill due to the implications of Covid-19 in the elections, and this bill is to be followed for all incoming elections. The Local Council Election is to be held on April 10th.

While the upcoming Local Council Elections (LCE) and Women’s Development Committee (WDC) elections will be held according to the guidelines given by the Health Protection Agency (HPA), this time more ballot boxes would be places in different areas as the HPA guidelines does not allow people to travel from one island to another. The voters will also be required to adhere to guidelines such as maintaining social distancing and wearing masks.