Elections Commission (EC) President Ahmed Shareef on Tuesday, revealed that EC is currently preparing to host the already delayed Local Council Elections on March 6, 2021.
While speaking at a programme broadcasted by local channel 'Raajje TV', EC's President Ahmed Shareef said that administrative preparations are already underway to host the election on the tentative date.
Although official campaigning has yet to begin, candidates can do so in accordance with Health Protection Agency (HPA) guidelines amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over 980 councillors were to be elected for the island, atoll and city councils on April 4, 2020. Initial fears over the COVID-19 pandemic forced authorities to postpone the election to April 18, 2020. However, the persistence of the health crisis soon prompted an indefinite delay.
EC noted that over 4,170 individuals had registered to contest for the seats. However, after granting opportunities to withdraw from the election, 71 individuals decided not to run.
Previously, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ratified an amendment to Article 231 of the Constitution to extend the terms of the presently elected local councils. President Solih also ratified the legislation to delineate the powers of council members who remain in office during the interim period, thus allowing the continued functioning of a decentralised government until such a time the local elections can be held.