Over 2,000 Police Officers deployed in Operation “Blueray 2021”

Police Officers seen outside a polling station in Malé City. According to Maldives Police Service, more than 2,000 police officers will be station around the country for the Local Council Elections | Photo: Police

Malé, Maldives – Maldives Police Service has revealed that they have deployed more than 2,000 officers for their special operation named “Operation BlueRay 2021” for todays Local Council Election (LCE) and Women’s Development Committee (WDC) election.

The operation which was launched yesterday by Commissioner of Police, Mohamed Hameed would provide safety and security in all polling stations to ensure a transparent and fair election gets carried out in the country.

Speaking at the security briefing of the operation held yesterday, CP Hameed told that this was the first large scale operation being carried out by police after they started to act on the new Police Service Act and that all officers must use this as an opportunity to show the professionalism and integrity of the force. 

CP Hameed also added that this was an opportunity to build trust between the public further by ensuring the safety and protection of the citizens. He also reminded all officers to abide by the constitution and laws of the country and to carry out the responsibilities responsibly.

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.

According to the latest statistics revealed by the Local Council Elections, while there are a total of 713 polling stations present in the atolls and in the Capital Male’ area of Maldives for Local Council Elections and Women’s Development Committee, only 518 polling stations has begun their work.

Elections Commission had previously stated that a total of 273,182 eligible voters will be there for todays vote and out of that 5,134 are those who turned 18 within the year by which the election was postponed. 

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. 

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.

While the 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.