President: We have surrendered powers, vote to change the system

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih shows the indelible ink mark on his finger after casting his vote in the Local Council Elections 2020 on April 10, 2021. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said on Saturday that councils have been granted significant powers with the revisions to Decentralization Act, and asked that people vote in the ongoing Local Council Elections to implement the new system in the islands.

He made the statement while speaking to press after casting his vote in the Local Council Elections and Women’s Development Committee Elections.

President Solih said that voting in the Local Council Elections is crucial to utilize the powers surrendered by the central government to local councils.

Noting that the election has had a significantly low voter turnout so far, President Solih said that he understands the election is being held under difficult circumstances, but hope to see more people come out to vote by afternoon.

President Solih also said that he expects a great victory for the ruling MDP, far greater than the party’s landslide victory in the Parliamentary Elections in 2019 which saw MDP gain supermajority at the Parliament.

273,182 people have the right to vote in the Local Council Elections.

701 ballot boxes have been kept in polling centers across Maldives and in neighboring India and Sri Lanka.

Polling stations opened at 07:00 am and will close at 05:00 pm.