Nation-wide “Raa Kaaf Committee Elections” is scheduled to be held in the country to elect members to the Island Development Committees which are consultative bodies set up by te Ministry of Atolls Development to advise the island and atolls chiefs on matters of the affairs of the respective island.
The opposition MDP has called for a boycott of the elections. The boycott was announced by its shadow home minister “Reekoa” Moosa Manik. However, a large number of the candidates in this election, in which more than 3400 candidates are competing to elect more than 1500 candidates, are active members of the opposition MDP.
The elections are steered by a committee of five who are consulted by the elections organizing committee comprising of three, in matters pertaining to the election held under the Rules of Procedure for Raa Kaaf Committee Elections, which was compiled by the Ministry of Atolls Administration. I accepted to head the steering committee. All other members of both the committees are from sectors of the government than the Atolls Ministry.
One of the key differences in this election from previous elections nationwide thus far will be, that the results of each ballot box will be announced by the head of the respective island committee. The ballot boxes are not going to be moved to others locations for counting. The voting centres will be converted to counting centers when the voting is over and handed over to counting officials. The Human Rights Commission of the Maldives, registered political parties, the media and representatives of the candidates in respective islands have been given the opportunity to register observers of the election process.
Like the two committees at the national level, the island election committees will not have any Atolls Ministry staff in them. The committees will function independent of the administration though facilities and resources will be provided.