The Elections Commission has announced the completion of the printing process for ballot papers to be used in the upcoming Local Council and Women’s Development Committee (WDC) elections.
In an announcement on Wednesday, the commission revealed that the ballot papers were printed through Novelty Printers and Publishers Private Limited.
A total of 498,184 ballot papers have been printed for the elections out of which 275,860 are for the 220 constituencies in the council elections and 222,324 ballot papers for the 181 women’s development committees nationwide.
The Local Council and Women’s Development Committee (WDC) elections are slated for April 10 and the commission is walking through the final preparations for the polls.
Earlier, the commission affirmed that 735 ballot boxes will be transported to islands by Thursday and that citizens will be allowed to cast their votes, even with an expired ID card.
A total of 273,128 citizens are eligible to vote in the polls out of which 5,134 voters will be those who turn 18 by the day of the polls. This is the highest number of new voters to participate in an election, so far.
The commission earlier revealed that 3,934 candidates will be contesting for seats, including 2,264 candidates contesting for local councils and 1,670 candidates contesting for Women's Development Committees across the nation.
The Elections Commission is required to launch preparations for the local elections within seven days after the ratification of the first amendment to the Local Council Elections Special Provision Act, comes into effect. The legislation, ratified by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in January, mandates the Health Protection Agency (HPA) to establish special guidelines to safeguard against the Covid-19 pandemic, to be followed throughout the polls.
EC had passed a budget of MVR 51.1 million for the Local Council and Women’s Development Committee Elections last year. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the elections were indefinitely delayed after being initially scheduled for April 4, 2020.