Elections Commission (EC) decided Wednesday to schedule the Local Council Elections for April 4, 2020.
EC member Ahmed Akram stated that administrative preparations are already underway for the local elections, which will be the first to be held following the proposed amendments to the Decentralisation Act. However, he noted that election preparations will only commence after the parliament passes the new bills.
The proposed amendments include holding a separate election for atoll councils, as well as stipulating councils to complete arrangements to elect members to women's development committees within a month of the local elections. Hence, EC is considering to hold both elections simultaneously.
Furthermore, the commission plans to put a cap of 700 voters per ballot box, unlike previous elections. Akram noted that the number of boxes and election officials will increase with this development.
EC will also place ballot boxes in resorts and countries where minimum 50 and 150 Maldivians respectively are registered to vote.
While the commission estimates a cost of MVR 65-70 million for the Local Council Elections, Akram noted that the number might increase depending on amendments to legislation.