Parties expect it to rain, want polling time extended

The national advisory committee on the 2024 parliamentary elections convenes for a meeting on April 16, 2024. (Sun Photo/Moosa Nadheem)

Political parties have suggested extending polling time during the parliamentary elections scheduled for next week, expecting it to rain in some of the islands.

At a meeting of the national elections advisory committee on Tuesday, Fuad Thaufeeq, the chairman of Elections Commission (EC), asked for the opinion of political parties regarding extending polling time if it rains on voting day.

‘…The Elections Commission wishes to seek your opinion regarding a matter. Rain showers are forecasted for some of the areas of Maldives on Sunday as well. We want to decide beforehand if we will extend polling time or not, and if we are going to extend, by how much,” he said.

Fuad said the commission will receive separate requests for extensions if it rains in some parts on Sunday. He said the commission wants to decide beforehand whether to set the polling time to 08:00 am to 04:00 pm or 08:00 am to 05:00 pm.

Elections Commission (EC)'s chairman Fuad Thaufeeq attends a meeting of the national advisory committee on the 2024 parliamentary elections on April 16, 2024. (Sun Photo/Moosa Nadheem)

Both political parties and independent institutions supported an extension to polling time. The committee members opinioned that an extension is best, due to the current hot spell being experienced in the Maldives if it doesn’t rain.

After listening to the opinions, Fuad noted that the committee was in unanimous agreement to extend polling time, and want the extension applied to all polling stations.

Fuad said the commission would announce its decision on Wednesday, after discussion.