The Edition


Maldives postpones parliamentary elections

Fathmath Shaahunaz
16 December 2018, MVT 12:15
Elections Commission's President Ahmed Shareef. FILE PHOTO/MIHAARU
Fathmath Shaahunaz
16 December 2018, MVT 12:15

The Elections Commission (EC) on Sunday postponed the upcoming parliamentary elections from March to April 6, 2019.

Speaking at a press conference, EC's President Ahmed Shareef announced that applications to contest in the election will be opened late next month, with January 28 as the tentative date.

Shareef revealed that re-registration for the 2019 parliamentary elections will be open only for individuals looking to change their voting stations from the last election.

He further stated that a number of important additions have been made to the re-registration process based on issues raised during this year's Presidential Election. One of these changes is necessitating voters who are re-registering to include a written statement of consent, in cases where another person submits the voter's re-registry form.

According to Shareef, the electoral watchdog is currently in the middle of finalising the electoral constituencies and the voters' list.

Highlighting that a constitutional case regarding electoral constituencies is currently underway at the High Court, Shareef stated that unless the court made a different ruling, the EC will maintain its latest decision on constituencies. The electoral watchdog had recently added Machangolhi Central and Henveiru West to capital Male' City, increasing the total number of constituencies to 87.

Shedding more light on the voters' list, Shareef disclosed that physical surveys are required to finalise the lists for Male' and Addu, due to changes in blocks and increase in households.

Moreover, Shareef acknowledged the complaints raised of long queues during the last Presidential Election and declared that special steps will be taken to minimise such issues, including reducing the number of voters assigned to each polling station. He also shared that the EC is in talks with the Scout Association of Maldives and Maldives National Cadet Corps regarding voting centres.

He expressed hopes that the new steps taken would facilitate easier voting conditions for the people, and assured that the EC would release the voters' list within the constitutional time frame.