EC: Male’ mayor by-election will be held before Jan 17

Members of Male' City Council convene for a meeting. (Photo/Male' City Council)

Elections Commission (EC) says that the by-election to pick the Male’ City mayor – which will become vacant once the President-elect Dr. Mohamed Muizzu takes office next month – will be held before January 17.

EC’s vice chairman Ismail Habeeb told Sun on Tuesday that the office of the Male’ mayor will become vacant once Muizzu resigns from the post to get sworn in as the president.

Habeeb said he expects Muizzu to step down on November 16 or the morning of November 17.

Habeeb said that Muizzu will notify the EC and the Local Government Authority (LGA) once he resigns, after which the commission will open candidacy for the by-election.

‘The LGA will notify the Elections Commission. We will open candidacy within five days of notification. The Elections Commission itself will not initiate the process. That’s the procedure,” he said.

Habeeb said the EC is legally obliged to hold elections to fill electoral positions at local councils within 60 days they become vacant.

Several candidates have already announced their candidacy for the mayor of the Maldivian capital. This includes Sports Minister Ahmed Mahloof, who said he intends to contest the MDP primary. Male’ City councilman Mohamed Saif Fathih, a politician from the Democrats, has also expressed interest in contesting the by-election.