Elections Commission (EC) announced late Wednesday that 980 councillors will be elected in the Local Council Elections slated for April 2020.
As the current administration moves to ensure more women inclusivity and empowerment, the electoral watchdog revealed that 372 seats on island councils are reserved for women. While another 372 island councillors are also to be elected, they noted that candidates of both sexes may run for the seats.
While the presidents of island councils will number 179, the election will see 18 atoll council presidents elected, bringing the total number of atoll councillors, which includes island council presidents, to 197.
In line with island councils, EC revealed that 12 seats on city councils will be allocated for women. Similarly, while an additional 24 city councillors will be elected, the commission stated that candidates of both sexes may run for those seats as well.
Three mayors will be elected, one per each of the city councils; Male', Fuvahmulah and Addu.
Moreover, the EC shared plans to elect 929 members to the women's development committee of the Local Council Elections.
The EC's decision to include more women on councils come in the wake of an unprecedented amendment to the Decentralisaion Act, which stipulates that 33 percent of council seats must be allocated for females. Although it was passed by the parliament, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih is yet to ratify the bill.