Parliament approves country-wide voting in council elections

Parliament has amended the Local Council Elections bill to allow Maldivians to vote in elections from anywhere in the country, rather than just their own islands.

The bill was originally returned to parliament by President Mohamed Nasheed, who commented that the bill would deny many citizens the right to vote.

The bill formerly required citizens to vote from their home islands, making voting a logistical challenge for the over 100,000 residents in the capital Male’. Workers at resorts far from their home islands would also have been disadvantaged by the previous bill.

The new system approved by parliament will nonetheless present a considerable logistical challenge for the Elections Commission.