Nearly five years ago the Island Republic of the Maldives introduced multi-party elections under a comprehensive national Constitution reform agenda.
Now they are preparing for their second series of multi-party elections, due in less than twelve months, by undertaking core skills training of their Elections Commission Staff.
In November 2012, a five day workshop was conducted to share Bridge training in modified modules of Introduction to Elections Management, Civic Education and Voter Information, and Legal and Statistics. As more than four by-elections were being prepared for in this period, two of the training modules were conducted on consecutive days, to allow half the staff to be trained while the other half were proceeding with the preparations. Accordingly two codes of conduct were necessary, and displayed accordingly. On the fifth day, all staff were invited to attend training and both codes of conduct were displayed and shared with no major difficulties as both sets of monitors ensured we had additional entertainment from dance or singing penalties which were applied enthusiastically.
Staff are looking forward to more Bridge training being conducted in the first half of 2013, before the Presidential elections commence, followed by Local Elections later in the year. A redistribution will be required before the Parliamentary Elections due in the first half of 2014.
Introduction of the Constitution’s decentralisation objective is an additional challenge which training will help the staff adapt to in the restructured Elections Commission.