President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has today ratified legislation (Act no. 03/2020) passed by Parliament on 29th April 2020, postponing elections for Local Councils and Women’s Development Committees (WDCs).

These elections are being postponed in light of the ongoing pandemic, COVID-19. Due to the rapid spread of the virus, and due to the preventive measures enacted while the country remains under a State of National Health Emergency in accordance with Section 33 of the Public Health Act (Act no. 7/2012), elections cannot reasonably or safely be held at the present time.

According to the bill, the Local Council and WDC elections, which were originally scheduled to be held in April this year, will take place one year after the bill’s ratification. The bill also addresses certain issues that had arisen due to the need to postpone the elections; it lifts the suspension on civil servants who had been contesting for the councils, and allows candidates who had already been selected to compete for local councils to put their names forward in the rescheduled elections.