Parliament election: Female candidates only account for 10 percent

Dunya Maumoon, a female candidate submits candidacy form for parliamentary election.

Elections Commission (EC) says only 10 percent of the candidates who filed their candidacies to contest in the upcoming parliamentary election accounted for females.

A total of 381 candidates filed candidacies to contest in the parliamentary at the time of the expiration of the deadline.

EC’s Vice Chairperson Ismail Habeeb, in a post on X on Thursday night, said the commission received just 41 candidacy forms from women, accounting for 10.76 percent of the total candidates.

Habeeb stressed the likeliness of the percentage of female candidates dropping below 10 percent, as EC reviews and rejects forms from candidates they deem ineligible. In this trajectory, he noted that rejected candidates were informed of the same last night.

The draw to decide on the candidate number of eligible candidates is being held at Dharubaaruge today, from 2:00pm onwards.

The ruling PPM-PNC coalition undertook efforts to incentivize female representation from the coalition at the parliament. However, only two female candidates filed their candidacies after the coalition’s primary.

Lawmakers will be elected for 93 constituencies in this year’s parliamentary election – marking six additional constituencies compared to the ongoing 19th parliamentary assembly.

The constitution currently stipulates that there must be a parliamentary representative for every 5,000 citizens. Thereby, as the population increases, the number of members also increases accordingly.

EC slated the parliamentary election for March 17th. However, an amendment to the law was submitted to the parliament following the announcement of the election date, which seeks to hold the election after the 10 days following the end of Ramadan. If the amendment is approved, the election will be delayed.