The bill to Amend the Local Council Elections Special Provisions Act states that efforts to organize and hold the Local Council and Women's Development Committee (WDC) elections can only take place under the directive of the Health Protection Agency (HPA)'s Director General of Public Health as the nation continues to be in a state of public health emergency.
According to the report by the Parliament Committee on Independent Institutions, amendments presented to the Local Council Elections Provision Act 2020 state omit the previous provision dictating that that the Local Council and WDC elections need to be held prior to a specific deadline. As per the amendments presented, there is no date specified in the bill before which it is mandatory to hold the elections. The bill now further requires that elections can only be held under the directive of the Director General of Public Health, and in accordance to Covid-19 health and safety regulations set forth by the HPA.
The report reviewed by the Parliament Committee on Independent Institutions further states that the Elections Commission (EC) is required to begin work to hold the elections within seven days after amendments to the bill have been ratified.
The amendments also require EC to present a date for which they will host the vote before the Commission begins organizing elections. In addition to this, the Director General of Public Health is tasked with publicizing the health and safety guidelines pertaining to the election process within seven days of EC presenting a date for the elections.
If in any case the EC determines that they are unable to host the elections before 10 May, the Committee on Independent Institution demands the commission to notify the People's Majlis a reasonable explanation within 30 days, which further limits the possibility of the elections being delayed.
As the amendments to the Local Council Elections Special Provisions Act 2020 have now been reviewed by the Committee on Independent Institution, the bill will once again be presented to the floor of parliament, where members will have an opportunity to present further amendments to the bill. The bill will be passed from the floor of parliament once a majority vote has been achieved to that effect.
The People's Majlis continue to convene in extraordinary sessions to complete work on the amendments to the Local Council Elections Special Provisions Act 2020.