Parties upset over delay in announcing new elections date

During the meeting between the Elections Commission and the National Advisory Committee. PHOTO/EC

During the meeting between the Elections Commission and the National Advisory Committee. PHOTO/EC

Political Parties expressed concern over the delay in announcing a date for the Local Council Elections initially scheduled for January 14, 2017.

The Elections Commission has withdrawn their appeal in High Court last week saying that they are following the instructions of the National Advisory Committee.

Meanwhile, referring to the appeal process, political parties are accusing that the EC is only playing a game led by the government to delay the elections.

The Secretary General of opposition Jumhoory Party stated that their only request at the EC is to announce a date for the local elections.

“Every delay which pushes back the elections neglects the rights of citizens,” said Sameer.

He added that they are saddened by the neglect of Elections Commission to its legal obligations.

The main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party’s deputy chairperson Ali Niyaz accused the EC of creating a mayhem over the election date, going on to remark that a new election guideline may also be set by the EC.

“The Civil Court does not interfere or stop the EC from setting a date for the elections. It could be done with the discussions of EC’s legal team.”

In addition, the Secretary General of Adhaalath Party Ahmed Shareef expressed doubts whether the election could be held in March as well.

“We didn’t request to announce the elections all over again, only to announce a date for the election to be held,” said Shareef.

When Mihaaru questioned the Elections Commission over the delay in announcing a date, EC requested to send the questions in written form. However, an answer has not yet been received.

The Civil Court had ordered to postpone the Local Council Elections, originally scheduled to be held January 14, by two months after ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) had filed for a delay, saying that recent political disputes within the party had hindered PPM’s preparations for the elections on time. The Civil Court had ruled in favour of PPM, but the Elections Commission (EC) had declared that delaying the elections would be a violation of the Constitution and subsequently appealed the Civil Court’s verdict at the High Court, seeking a reversal.

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