Some of the proposed revisions to the Special Provisions Act on Local Council Elections 2020 include shortening the deadline for filing complaints in response to the voters list, and filing complaints with the courts.
The bill was submitted to the Parliament by Hulhumale’ MP Ali Niyaz last week, and proposes shortening the legally mandated time frames for multiple election related affairs – in a bid to hold the Local Council Elections – postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic – as soon as possible.
The bills states that the Elections Commission must begin work on organizing the elections within seven days of its enactment, and that the work must begin in accordance with guidelines and instructions issued by the Director General of Public Health.
The law currently states that the elections can only be held after the state of public health emergency is lifted and after the relevant State authority establishes that holding the elections will not pose a threat of public health.
The revisions will lift the current restrictions and allow for EC to hold the elections with the instructions of the Director General of Public Health.
The revisions will shorten the six election related deadlines declared on the Elections Act.
The deadline for release of list of people with the right to vote will be shortened from 45 days ahead of the election to 30 days
The deadline for submission of complaints regarding the voters list will be shortened from 10 days to 5 days
The deadline for making a decision regarding the complaints will be shortened from 5 days to 3 days
The deadline for filing appeals with the High Court regarding decisions by the EC regarding complaints will be shortened from 5 days to 3 days
The deadline for High Court’s to make a decision regarding appeals will be shortened from 15 days to 7 days
The deadline for submission of appeals regarding the elections will be shortened from within 14 days to within 7 days after the official results are released
The deadline for High Court to make a decision regarding appeals will be shortened from within 30 days to within 15 days
The Parliament is scheduled to hold an extraordinary sitting outside of regular sessions to commence work on the bill on Wednesday, January 13.