Fuad: Holding parliamentary and local council elections in the same year the best solution

Election Commission (EC)'s chairman Fuad Thaufeeq. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Hayyan)

Election Commission (EC)'s Chairman Fuad Thaufeeq, on Wednesday, has cited the solution to the issue of by-elections and the expenses involved due to the shift of individuals from one post to another before the expiry of their term as holding parliament and local council elections in the same year. 

A number of councilors are preparing to contest next year's parliamentary elections. While in electoral posts, people resign for various reasons or running for other elective posts is a common occurrence leading to endless by-elections at a high cost to replace the vacant posts. 

Speaking to Sun on Wednesday, Fuad underscored that there was no legal obstacle for a person in an electoral post to contest for another post, and therewith, as itself, was not a concern for him. 

“If they are elected for a certain term and they resign before even half of it, it will stall their works and administrative works as well. Therefore, it is not something that is desired. But there is no obstacle to this," he said.

Fuad said that he doesn’t believe it to be an issue for councilors to leave their positions and contest for parliament.

Election Commission (EC)'s chairman Fuad Thaufeeq. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Hayyan)

“Both are done to serve their constituencies. If you think you can do a better job in parliament than you can do as a councilor and if the people accept it, we have no room to say anything about it,” Fuad said.

"Nevertheless, staying in whatever post elected for until the term expires, is something we should learn," he added. 

Fuad said the issue can be resolved by amending the law, however, stressed it cannot be achieved quickly. 

Fuad cited the solution would be to hold the elections together instead of holding them separately in different years. He believes that holding local council elections and parliamentary elections in the same year could be a solution.

“It would be better to hold one election instead of two big elections. It will also ease the budget,” he said.

"That would probably be the beneficial solution to this problem for the country.  But, the law must be amended,"

As it stands, the presidential, parliamentary, and council elections are held separately. Parliamentary elections are scheduled for April next year, while council elections will be held in 2026.