The Elections Commission has announced that it has decided to hold Addu City Council elections on February 5 along with the Local Council Elections for all other islands, after expressing concern last week that the Civil Court’s overturning of the President’s declaration would have delayed it by two weeks.
President Nasheed last week declared Addu a city for the second time, after the Civil Court ruled in favour of the Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) that his first declaration was invalid due to a procedural issue.
The court ruled that the Local Government Authority (LGA) – currently consisting solely of Home Minister Hassan Afeef – had not determined the criteria for a city. The LGA published the criteria in the government gazette and the President declared Addu a city for the second time, however the EC warned last week that this obliged it to repeat the voter registration procedure for Addu.
“The Commission has decided to go ahead with the elections [for Addu] because the President announced that he competed the incomplete procedure on January 10,’’ said the Commission. “According to the law, the the City Council elections can be held in Addu.’’
The Civil Court case was originally filed by Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) deputy leader Imad Solih, sparking hundreds of Adduans and activists to protest outside the home of DQP leader Dr Hassan Saeed – himself a prominent Adduan.