The renewal of ID cards will be suspended so that people do not lose their right to vote, the Department of National Registration said Monday, marking the latest institutional U-turn ahead of the election.
Days earlier the DNR said it would not be responsible if people lost their right to vote because they had renewed their ID card to change the information on it.
Newspaper Mihaaru reported that those renewing their ID card were having to sign a consent form saying they had no objection to losing their right to vote.
“This decision was made to ensure that no Maldivian loses his or her right to vote in the upcoming election,” said an accommodating notice from the DNR.
A DNR media official told the Maldives Independent that changing the existing information on ID cards may cause individuals to lose their vote, as the final voter list had already been published.
Earlier this month, the elections commission published the voter list with details such as name and address as provided by the DNR.
If the name, address or birth date on the ID cards differ from the information on the voter list, people cannot cast their ballot.
The DNR said the service to renew ID cards with amended information would resume after the September 23 presidential election.
DNR director Fareedha Yoosuf told local media that many people were renewing their ID cards after moving to a new property or registering in the Malé dhaftharu.