The Elections Commission (EC) of Maldives was established on 7 August 2008 as an independent and impartial institution to conduct and supervise all state elections and public referendums as well as to monitor the regulatory framework pertaining to the functioning of political parties. Under the Elections Commission Act (2008) 5 members are appointed by the president for a 5 year term with approval by People’s Majlis.
Prior to the establishment of the transitional Elections Commission on 6 September 2008 as stated in article 276 of the 2008 Constitution of the Republic of Maldives, elections were formerly coordinated by the Commissioner of Elections office which had first functioned under the Ministry of Home Affairs, and later under the purview of the President’s Office. The then Commissioner of Elections, was appointed by the President. The Commissioner of Elections was answerable to the President only and could only be removed from office by the President.
The need for an independent Elections Commission was recognized during 2004 when a series of reforms were introduced to strengthen democracy in the country. One of the key aspects of these reforms was to modernize the electoral system, ensuring that elections were conducted in a free, fair and transparent manner, and develop a functioning multi-party system in the Maldives.
Subsequently, under the 2008 Constitution of the Republic of Maldives, the Elections Commission was established as an independent and impartial institution, that will function in accordance with the Constitution and laws enacted by the People’s Majlis’ and the statue governing the responsibilities, powers and mandate of the Elections Commission.