ECM President says April 21st election vital to meet legal deadline

President of the Elections Commission of Maldives (ECM), Fuwad Thaufeeq has stated that the decision to hold the parliamentary elections on April 21, is driven by the necessity to meet the legal deadline for the election of the new parliament. He emphasised that any further delay could jeopardize compliance with the legal timeframe.

The Fifth Amendment to the General Elections Act, ratified by the President on February 29, dictates that elections cannot be held during the month of Ramadan. Consequently, the Election Commission has postponed the originally scheduled election date of March 17 to April 21.

Fuwad Thaufeeq explained in a social media post that April 21 is the first day following the 10 days after Ramadan, and holding the vote on this day is crucial to meet the legal requirement of electing the new parliament one month before the dissolution of the existing parliament.

With the change in the polling date, 560 individuals become eligible to vote in the parliamentary elections, bringing the total number of voters to 284,887. A second opportunity for re-registration will be provided soon, with a 3-day window for individuals to re-register. The number of ballot boxes may change during this re-registration period, stated ECM.

Voting is scheduled to take place on April 21 from 0800hrs to 1600hrs, and the counting of votes will commence after 1630hrs. The final results are expected to be announced on April 28, as per the Election Commission.