K. Male'
27 Aug 2019 | Tue 17:17
Elections Commissioner Ahmed Shareef
Elections Commissioner Ahmed Shareef
Elections Commission
Local Council Elections 2020
Local Council Elections 2020 to be held in April
The Elections Commission said that they are currently discussing on holding the elections during the first week of April

Local Council Elections 2020 will be held in April, the Elections Commission has announced.

While this was announced at a press conference by Elections Commissioner Ahmed Shareef on Tuesday, he added that they have yet to set a date for the fourth local council elections.

However, he noted that are discussing on holding it during "the first week of April."

Shareef also revealed that the upcoming council elections will be “very different” from the last parliamentary and presidential elections, adding that their target is “to make things easier for the candidates and voters.”

As such, the commission will be increasing number of election officials to around 7,000 and setting the number of voters at a single ballot box to 700.

Further noting that the parliament is currently deliberating on amendments to the Decentralization Act, Shareef said that they are working together with parliament’s decentralization committee to ensure that things go smoothly.

In addition, the commissioner expressed hope that the act will be amended in such a manner that will increase the number of female candidates.

While the tenure of a councillor is three years, the current over 660 councillors took oath of office in June 2017.

Local Council Elections 2017 was delayed thrice, and was ultimately held on May 6, months after then councillors term ended on 26th February 2017.

It was initially scheduled for 14th January 2017, but was delayed to April 8 after then ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) won its court petition to delay the elections by two months citing "loss of database and membership registry." It was delayed a second time, to April 15, with the commission claiming unavailability of public schools to set up polling stations. Then it was delayed to May 6, this time over a flu outbreak.

The decentralisation law requires new councillors to be elected 30 days before the three-year term of local councils expires.

A previous Civil Court order -which refers to a 'state of necessity'- allowed the councillors to remain in position until the election of their successors; the 'state of necessity' order was issued to legitimise former President Mohamed Waheed’s continuation in office after the end of the presidential term on November 11, 2013.

According to the Elections Commission, the turnout during the Local Council Elections 2019 was 66 percent of 255,987 eligible voters. The turnout in the January 2014 council elections was 64.5 percent, down from 70 percent in the first local council elections in February 2011.

Last updated at: 6 months ago
Reviewed by: Leevan Ali