Maldives electoral watchdog warns against local elections delay

Some members of EC : EC warns that if Local Elections are delayed, they no longer have to conduct elections to the dates declared in Constitution.

Some members of the Elections Commission: EC warns that if Local Council Elections are delayed, they no longer have to conduct elections to the dates declared in Constitution.

The Elections Commission warned that if the upcoming Local Council Elections are delayed, conducting elections on the dates declared in the Constitution would lose all meaning.

According to the Decentralization Act, the Elections Commission must conduct the Local Council Elections 30 days prior to the end of the present councilors’ term. Hence, January is the last date for EC to hold the elections according to the Constitution, as the term of the councilors will be concluded on February 2017.

During the hearing of the ongoing claim presented to the Civil Court by the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), Elections Commission’s attorney said that if the local elections are delayed, they no longer have to follow the dates stated in Constitution to hold the elections.

When the lawyer of PPM mentioned that several elections had been delayed previously, EC’s lawyer replied that delaying elections in the past does not mean to follow it in the future. He also expressed concerns over the great amount of money invested in the election by EC.

Lawyer of PPM’s leader, Husnu Al Suood, said that delaying the local elections would create a bad culture of not obeying the laws. Backing EC’s Lawyer, Suood also said the EC would no longer have to abide by the set dates of Constitution.

Opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and religiously conservative Adhaalath Party have also intervened in the lower court case against delaying the elections.

The verdict is expected to be issued on the case on Thursday.

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