Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed says it is vital to hold the Local Council Elections as soon as possible amid growing concerns from the opposition regarding the much-delayed vote.

In a Tweet, Nasheed emphasized that it is important to hold the delayed-elections as soon as possible. He added that if the Law has to amended in order to hold the polls, it should be done as soon as possible as well.

His comments came after President of the Elections Commission Ahmed Shareef confirmed yesterday that the Local Council Elections would not be held in March of this as previously thought.

President of the Elections Comission of the Maldives Mr. Ahmed Shareef addressing a press conference/File Photo: Nima Hassan | The Press

He said that as Health Officials had extended the State of Public Health Emergency declared in the country by another month, the commission is unable to complete the tasks for it to hold the pushed back elections in March.

He added that the polls can only be held after amending the Law and that the Commission was currently working towards that goal.

The Health Ministry had extended the State of Public Health Emergency for the 11th time yesterday since it was declared in March of last year amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

It had said yesterday that the extension would run till the 3rd of February and instructed the Health Protection Agency HPA to implement its order as per the announcement.

Meanwhile, the opposition PPM/PNC coalition had voiced concern yesterday regarding the Local Council elections. It noted that the government had yesterday announced its decision to reopen schools next Sunday and is yet reluctant to hold the Local Council elections.

The Opposition questioned the government's decision making in this regard, insinuating that the government was afraid to hold the elections in the current political climate.