The Attorney General’s office has revealed 19 bills including an “Anti-Defamation Act” bill drafted on and submitted to the parliament on behalf of the government. A total of 28 bills are scheduled to be sent to the parliament of which 9 are amendments to existing laws.
Though the Attorney General’s Office is yet to publish the full details of the bills, the names of the bills has been released. Amongst the 19 bills revealed today, notable bills included “Maldives Media and Broadcasting Authority Act”, “Anti-Defamation Act” and “National Registration Act”.
According to sources, the “Maldives Media and Broadcasting Authority Act” will see the merging of Maldives Media Council and the Broadcasting Commission of Maldives into a single authority, to the criticism of the public. Members of the media has criticized this as it would allow the government further control over the content published in all public and private medias.
The re-introduction of “Anti-Defamation Act” is expected to stir controversy as Foreign Minister Abdullah Shahid, then Speaker of the Parliament repealed the “Anti-Defamation Law” passed during President Abdullah Yameen’s administration on 28th October 2018 calling the bill “a draconian attack on fundamental rights, press freedom, and freedom of expression.”.
Below is a list of bills scheduled to be introduced to the parliament.
- “Pavement systems and pavement service act”
- “Witness Act”
- “Maldives Media and Broadcasting Authority Act”
- “Food Products Act”
- “National Registration Act”
- “Public Transportation Act”
- “Anti-Defamation Act”
- “Animal Cruelty Act”
- “Literature and Publication Act”
- “Endangered Species’ Act”
- “Foreign Investment Act”
- “Electronic Communication Act”
- “Insolvency Act”
- “Legal Aid Act”
- “Family Act”
- “Mental health Act”
- “Anti-Human Trafficking Act”
- “Housing Act”
- “Civil Aviation Act”