Politics

Maldives presidential elections first round to be held early September

The first round of presidential elections in the Maldives will be held in early September, the Elections Commission said Thursday.

Preparatory work for the polls had begun and the EC expected to make an announcement in July.

It expected a first round to be held in early September and a second round, should it be necessary, would be held within 21 days from election day.

The 2013 presidential polls remain mired in controversy.

Widely condemned Supreme Court guidelines annulled the first round and its ruling followed two weeks of street protests, strikes, travel warnings and rumblings of concern from top ranks in the military.

“Given the geographical and logistical challenges of conducting national Election in the Maldives, the Election’s Commission is working together with international stakeholders to ensure our teams engaged in the electoral process are ably equipped to meet the tasks at hand,” the EC said Thursday.

“In addition to training programs, the Elections Commission has implemented and continues to incorporate recommendations received, including from the European Union, to improve its legal, administrative and organizational capacity.”

The president’s office welcomed the news and invited the international community to observe the electoral process. It also asking stakeholders to refrain from actions that could hinder resolving the situation facing the country, a coy reference to a state of emergency imposed earlier this month.

Earlier this year the government said it wanted to change election laws so that the EC would have to get candidates or their representatives to approve and verify the voter list before an election could take place, which is currently illegal.

Another amendment would ensure that only a voter list approved and verified by candidates or their representatives was used in the Maldives or abroad.

The EC, like other Maldivian institutions, is in a state of flux.

Last month its chair resigned and local media reported on Thursday that its secretary general, Ahmed Ali, had also resigned.

Full details are available at the link below:

Source URL:  Maldives Independent

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