EC: Vote to change system will cost MVR 100 million

Elections Commission chairman Fuad Thaufeeq. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

The Chairman of the Election Commission (EC) Fuad Thowfeek on Tuesday stated that taking a vote to shift governing systems in Maldives will cost about MVR 100 million.

Speaking with Sun about this, Fuad detailed that should the Parliament pass to hold the election, the commission would require 60 days to make arrangements.

However, he noted that EC does not have a budget for the election and that the Ministry of Finance and Treasury would have to make financial arrangements in such a situation.

“If the election is to be held in the same standard as Presidential elections are held, it is estimated that MVR 100 million will be spent. That is because ballots would need to be placed abroad and in industrial resorts. There are printing ballot papers also.”

But he also said that holding such an election would not prove to be a major obstacle for the commission.

Parliament Speaker and former President Mohamed Nasheed submitted a resolution on Thursday, August 11 to Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) Congress regarding shifting the governing system.

It called to hold a constitutional referendum to switch the governing system – and make major changes to the constitution should the people choose a parliamentary system.

Political leaders have been expressing their disagreement over it, with even President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih calling to take back the resolution.

In an interview given by President Solih to local channel RaajjeTv, he stated that looking at the current situation of the country, this was not the best time to take such a vote and change governing systems.

He stated that his personal opinion was to keep the current Presidential system as it is, and also declared his support for a system that allows separation of powers.

MDP’s congress is scheduled to be held on Friday, August 19.