Elections Commission of the Maldives (ECM) has accepted all application forms from main ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) for the upcoming Local Council Elections (LCE).
The reveal was made via a press conference at the party’s main campaign office on Sunday, where Campaign Spokesperson Afshan Latheef noting that the commission has accepted all 877 forms from candidates vying for the council elections slated for 4 April.
Afshan went on to reveal that 442 candidates have been selected by the party to vie for the women’s development committee elections, slated for the same day.
MDP’s primaries for the women’s development committee elections were held during the past week, where 442 candidates were confirmed party tickets.
In this regard, Afshan stated that more individuals have the opportunity to win tickets to contest through the party. As such, the opportunity to run for the committee elections is open till 24 February, said Afshan.
The deadline for contestants to submit their applications for the LCE expired last Thursday and by the time the deadline approached, ECM revealed that they had received over 3,000 application forms.
980 out of the 1,912 candidates to be elected this year are contesting for the local councils and 930 for women’s development committees.
This will be the first time the ECM is scheduled to hold two different elections during one day, after the amendments made to the Decentralization Act, following which it is expected to be the first one of its kind. Unlike previous local council elections, only candidates that contest for the position of City Mayors, Atoll Council Presidents and Island Council Presidents can be elected for the position.
Other changes made under the amendments include allocating 33% of council seats for women and extending every councilor's term from three years to five years.