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Maldives looks to add requirements for local elections' candidates

Aishath Mihna Nasih
02 February 2017, MVT 12:37
Elections Commission members speaking in a press conference PHOTO:Nishan Ali/Mihaaru
Aishath Mihna Nasih
02 February 2017, MVT 12:37

The Maldives government is preparing to propose new amendments to the Elections General Act before the Local Council Elections scheduled to be held April 15.

This attempt to amend the Act comes after the Elections Commission's second postponement of the elections.

Mihaaru understands that the amendments mainly include requirements of the candidates, along with some other changes which the bill looks to endorse in the upcoming local elections.

Currently there are seven requirements for the candidates, including being a Maldivian citizen, not being a foreigner, being a Sunni Muslim, being above 18 years, a person in sound mind, not holding a position at an electoral post and not being a full time student.

According to Elections Commission member Ahmed Akram, they decided to push back the elections over difficulties faced by the Ministry of Education to release the grounds and halls of schools to set up ballot boxes.

The first delay was sought by ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) at the Civil Court, saying that it had been unable to prepare for the elections in time due to internal political conflicts within the party. Amidst the uproar and criticism of opposition parties and the public, the Elections Commission had announced a new election to be held April 8 and abolished the initial candidacy list, opening applications again.

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