Elections Commission (EC) Vice President Ismail Habeeb says that elections for Women’s Development Committee (WDC) should be held by the Council, to reduce costs.
EC had previously expressed their concerns over frequent elections held for vacant seats in WDCs. Routine elections need to be held as some Committee members had resigned, after getting elected. The number of candidates up for elections are low as well.
Speaking to Dhiyares on Sunday, Habeeb said that the wisest option would be for Councils to run those by-elections. EC, he said, would provide technical support, ballot boxes, and guidelines to adhere by.
EC previously had said that between MVR 135,000 (US$ 8,794.85) and MVR 150,000 (US$ 9,772.05) is spent on average for each byelection. Local Government Authority (LGA) had also recommended Councils appropriating their budgets for such byelections. This was passed in May, last year.
Habeeb also said that this has been recommended the Commission to other stakeholder agencies in relevant meetings. He estimates that this would come into effect, after Parliament passes a proposed amendment in the upcoming session.
A total of 12,142 individuals were eligible to vote in latest byelections to elect a member for the Hithadhoo WDC. Only 1,007 had actually their ballots. Opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) candidate won the seat.