Parliament accepts bill to bring forward local council elections

Parliamentarians pictured during a sitting. (Photo/People's Majlis)

The Parliament has accepted the bill to amend the law in order to bring forward the date for the local council elections. 

The election, originally scheduled for April last year, was delayed under a special law in light of the COVID-19 situation in the Maldives. 

Under the law, only when state authorities determining that it was safe to hold the election and that there was no public health emergency or risk, could the election be held. 

The first reading of the bill was heard in the Parliament sitting held out of term last Wednesday. Preliminary debates on the bill were commenced in today’s sitting. 39 MPs voted to accept the bill and it was then forwarded to the Parliament’s Committee on Independent Institutions. 

After the Committee brings any necessary amendments it sees fit, the bill would once again be sent to the Parliament where three days will be provided for amendments to be proposed by other MPs. The bill will then be asked for a vote. 

The advancement of the election is framed in a way by shortening the timeframe for other election-related activities. The Elections Commission is to commence work on holding the election within seven days of the bill passing the parliament. Policies and regulations set out by the Director-General of Public Health are to be followed by the Elections Commission for the work. 

The Elections Commission is currently working to hold the election on April 4, 2021.