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EC allocates ballot boxes for Bangladesh, Thailand

31 January 2019, MVT 19:31
A voter casts his ballot during the 2018 presidential election. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/ MIHAARU
31 January 2019, MVT 19:31

Elections Commission (EC) has decided to set ballot boxes for the upcoming Parliamentary Elections in Thailand and Bangladesh.

Ballot boxes for the Presidential Elections held previously on September 23 were set in India, Sri Lanka and Malaysia,

EC has decided to also set up ballot boxes in Thailand and Bangladesh in the Parliamentary Elections slated for April 6, and opened a registry for voting in these countries.

EC member Ahmed Akram said on Thursday that ballot boxes would be placed in foreign countries if more than 100 people registered to vote, and that there would be an increase in ballot boxes abroad.

Many Maldivian students currently reside in Bangladesh for studies, while Thailand is a place of opportunity for business and holiday-making for many Maldivians.

The right to vote in Parliamentary Elections has been given to 264,589 people.

An electoral roll has been published and the EC will accept submission of complaints until February 9.

Elections Commission had previously stated that if there were no change to the island an individual was registered in the Presidential Elections, they would not have to re-register.

According to Akram, each individual ballot box for the upcoming elections will at most contain votes from a 1,000 people, and the amount of boxes for this election would be much higher compared to to the Presidential Elections.

He estimated that the number of ballot boxes in Malaysia, Colombo and Trivandrum would increase.

Akram also compared the two elections, noting that there are more opportunities to set more ballot boxes in resorts in the parliamentary elections, and assured that boxes would be placed in resorts where more than 50 people register to vote.

This is in contrast to the 100-people cap the EC placed in the Presidential Elections.

Political parties have begun shortlisting candidates to contest for the Parliamentary Elections. The governing coalition’s biggest party, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), has held their primaries and given tickets to many members, while Jumhooree Party (JP) has handed over tickets to 36 members.

Opportunity to contest in the elections will open on February 21.

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