On the invitation of the Election Commission of Maldives, Arun Goel, Election Commissioner is leading a three-member delegation to Maldives to observe the conduct of the Presidential Election, 2023. The first round of the election was conducted on 9th September 2023. There are eight candidates in the fray. The election was held as per the Constitution of Maldives, 2008, Election (General) Act, 2008, Presidential Elections Act, 2008 and Presidential Elections Rules and Regulations, 2008.
Under the Election Laws of Maldives, the President is elected for a five-year term directly by the people by universal and secret suffrage. The voting system for the election of the President is a direct election through a majority vote with the first-past-the-post method. The winning candidate has to secure a minimum of 50 % of the total votes polled in one or multiple rounds. The Election Commission of Maldives comprises of Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and three other Commissioners. The number of eligible electors for the Presidential Election is 2,82,395 (Male: 1,44,199 and Female: 1,38,196). There are 574 ballot boxes (polling booths) and the maximum number of voters registered in a ballot box is 850. Out of these boxes, 8 have been set up overseas for the citizens of Maldives residing abroad.
The delegation led by Election Commissioner Arun Goel included Ajay Bhadoo, Deputy Election Commissioner, and Pramod Kumar Sharma, Principal Secretary, who visited 22 polling booths located in Male and Hulhumale and observed the polling process, the system, and procedure of voter registration and identification, the arrangements of booths for polling and noted many initiatives taken by the EC of Maldives. International Observers from other countries and organizations also participated in the election observation program.
The counting of the votes was done on the same day i.e., 9th September 2023 and as per the result, none of the candidates could get over 50% of votes. According to their election laws, there will be a second round of elections on 30th September 2023 to be contested only by the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes in the first election.