Speaker Nasheed to EC: Stop being petulant, hold elections as scheduled

Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed. (Photo/People's Majlis)

Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed criticized Elections Commission on Monday, stating that the Local Council Elections cannot be pushed back to a later date as requested by the commission.

Elections Commission has asked for counsel from the Parliament to postpone the LCE, citing obstacles due to the health guidelines compiled by Health Protection Agency (HPA) making it difficult to hold the elections on April 10.

Opening the Parliament sitting on Monday morning, Nasheed likened Elections Commission’s letter to excuses, complaints and petulance by a young child who refuses to do his homework.

Nasheed said that the Elections Commission is making excuses to postpone the elections, stating that “EC has been assigned homework” and that “they have no choice but to comeback after completing the homework”.

“I have told the Secretary-General that this is the same as my daughter’s homework. She tells me different reasons why it can’t be done, just to avoid getting it done. Some days it’s something wrong with the pencil, on other days it’s something wrong with the chair, with the room, with the roof, something going on outside… She gives me multiple reasons,” he said.

Nasheed said that the elections will be held on April 10 as scheduled, and that the Parliament will not approve a postponement.

“What I have to say to the Commissioner of Elections, as well as children who need to do their homework is that you have been assigned homework, and now you need to get it done. That there’s no other option. The elections will be held on the date announced, In Sha Allah. We will, In Sha Allah, not make any changes to that,” he said.

Special Provisions Act on Local Council Elections 2020 requires for the LCE to be held by May 9 at the latest.

According to the First Amendment to Special Provisions Act on Local Council Elections 2020, the EC needs to make a formal submission to the Parliament minimum 30 days to the elections deadline, if the EC faces circumstances preventing them from holding the elections as scheduled.

Elections Commission has stated that they will continue to make elections preparations until the Parliament makes its decision.