The Elections Commission of Maldives (ECM) has announced a revision in the nomination schedule for the upcoming 2024 Parliamentary Elections. The opening of nominations, initially slated for 30 January, has been deferred to 31 January.

The revised nomination period will now extend from 31 January to 14 February, offering a two-week window for prospective candidates to file their papers. Despite the rescheduling of the nomination opening, the closing date remains unaltered.

The ECM has also delineated the timeline for other pivotal electoral processes. The re-registration window for voters will be accessible from 1 to 7 February, and the sequence of candidates on the ballot papers will be ascertained on 16 February. The registration period for candidates’ representatives will span from 16 to 23 February, according to the timeline.

Political parties are currently in the throes of preparation for their parliamentary primaries. The main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and the ruling People’s National Congress (PNC) have already earmarked their primary dates.

The PNC, in alliance with the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), will conduct its parliamentary primaries on 27 January. The MDP has scheduled its primaries for 3 February, with 111 candidates contesting for 43 constituencies.

In the run-up to the elections, the ECM has urged all candidates and political parties to prioritise the completion of documentation on criminal records and financial status. These records are mandated to be filed in conjunction with the nomination papers.

Ismail Habeeb, the Vice Chairman and spokesperson of the ECM, has reiterated his appeal to all political parties to ensure transparency, fairness, and adherence to democratic principles in their internal primaries.

The parliamentary election is scheduled for 17 March, coinciding with the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan. The tenure of the incumbent 19th parliament, comprising 87 lawmakers, is set to culminate on 28 May 2024. The 20th parliament will witness increased representation, with six additional constituencies, bringing the total number of seats to 93.