K. Male'
01 Mar 2024 | Fri 15:50
Presser held by the Elections Commission regarding the parliamentary polls
Presser held by the Elections Commission regarding the parliamentary polls
Elections Commission
Parliamentary polls 2024
Majlis polls delayed to April 21
The president ratified a bill to amend the General Elections Act to prevent elections from being held during the fasting month, on Thursday
The elections were earlier slated for 17 March 2024
EC earlier revealed that they would begin preparations as soon as the bill is ratified by the president

The Elections Commission of Maldives (EC) has delayed the parliamentary polls of 2024 to April, after President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu ratified the fifth amendment to the General Elections Act on Thursday.

President Muizzu ratified the amendment bill to the General Elections Act following recommendation from the Attorney General.

The People’s Majlis elections were previously slated for 17 March 2024, which falls within the first week of the fasting month of Ramadan.

EC on Thursday announced that the elections will now be held on 21 April 2024.

The commission convened an emergency meeting shortly after the bill was ratified, during which the decision was announced.

Speaking to RaajjeMV, Vice President of the commission, Ismail Habeeb revealed that the decision to push the date to April was reached unanimously by members present at the emergency meeting.

Habeeb noted that as two EC members are currently out of Malé City, they had phoned them and sought their views and insights on the matter and held discussions with them as well.

EC had earlier said that they would act on implementing it as soon as the ratification was made by the president.

The legislature seeking to postpone the upcoming parliamentary elections was rejected by the president the first time it was forwarded by the People’s Majlis. It was sent to the president for ratification two weeks before it was rejected and sent back to the parliament.

The bill sponsored by former ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) banning national elections during Ramadan, was passed with a majority of votes in favor, on 11 February 2024. The bill was sent for ratification on 12 February 2024.

After it was rejected, the parliament once again passed it on Wednesday.

Section 43 (a) of the General Elections Act was amended to state that during the elections, the Elections Commission would determine and declare the timing of ballot casting, closing polling stations and ballot counting.

Section 43 (b) states that elections shall not be held during Ramadan, even if it says otherwise in any other law.

Further, it clarifies that if the date of elections coincides with a day of the fasting month, it should be held 10 days after the end of Ramadan.

Section 43 (c) states that in the event of a situation in which the period stipulated under the special act relating to elections or for other matters under the act is not applicable, the Elections Commission may reschedule the date for elections as provided in clause (b).

The amendment to the general elections act was sent back without ratification, at a time political parties, agencies and EC had voiced concern over the decision to hold the parliamentary polls during the fasting month. Top figures in the political sphere have been expressing concern over the matter as well.

Last updated at: 1 month ago
Reviewed by: Fathimath Zuhaira