EC supports amendment to laws regarding council election

Elections Commission members speaking in a parliamentary committee meeting. (File Photo/EC)

Elections Commission has said that the amendment regarding invalid votes proposed to the law regarding local councils is important and should be passed as soon as possible.

The first reading of the amendment proposed by Addu Meedhoo MP Rozaina Adam was heard in the parliament yesterday.

MP Rozaina proposed that if a situation a voter ticks boxes related to candidates that are more than the number to be elected, only the additional boxes ticked on the ballot box would be invalidated rather than the entire ballot.

Regarding the amendment, vice president of the Elections Commission and spokesperson Ahmed Akram speaking with “Sun” said that the commission did not support amending the law at a time when the election was so close, but the amendment by MP Rozaina was an important one that is supported by the commission.

“The Elections Commission wants to reduce the number of invalid votes. If the amendment is brought, then the burden on the public will be reduced as well as the number of invalid votes,” said Akram who also added that the commission supported the amendment and called for it to be passed as soon as possible.

Under the amendments to the Decentralization Act, city mayors and council presidents will be elected separately. The votes will be cast by a single ballot paper which will include the mayor or council president, members and women councilors. A total of three posts will be on the ballot paper.

Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed also stated that he wanted to work for the amendment in yesterday’s session.