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President rejects legislature to postpone Majlis election

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President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has rejected legislature passed by the Parliament seeking to postpone the upcoming parliamentary elections to after Ramadan.

A top government spokesperson told that the president rejected the bill because changing the election date would result in “loss of public trust.”

He said the decision was based on five factors. Which is:

  • Because the bill requires the publication of national ID card numbers when the voter’s list is published on the Government Gazette, which the administration considers private information.
  • The lack of details on the appointment or qualification of “focal points” who must be arranged by the Elections Commission and charged with significant responsibilities under the bill.
  • With reference to Article 79 (b) of the constitution, which states that all election-related matters must be completed 30 days before the term of the incumbent parliamentary assembly expires. The administration believes the bill opens room to finish all election-related matters ahead of the time stipulated in the constitution, making the provision unconstitutional.
  • Article 75 of the constitution stipulates that parliamentarians must act in the best interest of the nation. But the administration believes there is grounds to believe that some of the parliamentarians, who are running for re-election, are acting in their own interest in changing the election date.

Because altering the Elections Act and changing the election date would result in loss of public confidence in the election

MDP: There’s still room for post-Ramadan Majlis elections

The decision came after Ahmed Easa, the manager for the main opposition MDP’s parliamentary elections campaign, said there was still an opportunity to postpone the upcoming elections, to after Ramadan.

The decision comes after Ahmed Easa, the manager for the main opposition MDP’s parliamentary elections campaign, said there was still an opportunity to postpone the upcoming elections, to after Ramadan.

In a press briefing on Monday morning, Easa, who serves as the parliamentary representative for Kendhikulhudhoo, reiterated MDP’s assertion, that the vast majority of the public want the elections to be held after Ramadan.

He said that Ramadan is a hard month to hold political activities, and that a low voter turnout is of great concern to political parties.

The parliamentary elections is scheduled for March 17th – which falls within the first week of Ramadan.

The Elections Commission (EC) had pushed for legal reforms to hold the elections ahead of Ramadan, as the Elections Act requires the commission to initiate the process of holding the elections, at least 120 days before the end of the term of the incumbent parliamentary assembly – which is May 28th.

Holding the elections before or ahead of Ramadan, required legal amendments.

The Parliament – which MDP holds a majority in – rejected EC’s request to hold the elections ahead of Ramadan, opting instead to have the elections held after the holy month.

An MDP-sponsored bill banning national elections during Ramadan passed with a majority vote of 46 to 3, on February 11th.

According to the new bill, if an election date falls within Ramadan, it must be held 10 days after Ramadan ends.

The president had until Wednesday, to either ratify or reject the bill.

But on Monday afternoon, within hours after MDP’s press briefing, the President’s Office announced that President Muizzu had rejected the legislature, and sent it back to the Parliament.

The MDP had anticipated the move.

The party warned last week that it will pass the same bill again, with a greater majority, if the president refused to ratify the bill, which will result in the automatic ratification of the bill.

Source(s): sun.mv

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New administration has done nothing but boost political appointments: Solih

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The new Maldivian administration has done nothing but appoint more and more political appointees to high-paying posts, says former Maldivian leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

Solih, who is a nationwide tour of Maldives to rile up support for the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) candidates in the upcoming parliamentary elections, made the remark in a visit to L. Gan on Sunday.

Addressing a rally in Gan, Solih said that President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu’s administration is not running any projects.

“Where are the development projects started in the last five months? But they halted 1,700 projects we initiated,” he said.

“There’s money allocated in this year’s budget for these projects. But after stopping these [projects], the only thing they are doing is appointing more people to political posts and paying them salaries. They are doing nothing else,” he said.

Solih, who now serves as an advisor at MDP, suggested that “either the incumbent administration does not know how to manage the budget or it is deliberately trying to keep the people enslaved.”

He accused the administration of intimidating voters, especially those employed in state-run companies.

“MDP will always rise up against this,” he said.

MDP has repeatedly expressed concern over the high number of apolitical appointments made by the PPM-PNC administration.

Addressing Sunday’s rally, Solih said the people now realize that they made a “mistake” during the 2023 presidential elections. He alleged that President Muizzu based his campaign on “lies and deceit.”

“I see MDP winning the seats by a landslide again, In Sha Allah,” he said, referring to the party’s historic win in the 2019 parliamentary elections.

The allegations of intimidation of government employees and increased hirings for political gain has been repeatedly denied by the government.

The parliamentary elections is scheduled for April 21.

Total 368 candidates are contesting for 93 parliamentary seats in this year’s elections. The highest number of candidates are from the MDP – which is contesting 90 seats.

Source(s): sun.mv

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President plans legal reforms to have tax revenue injected into councils

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President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu says he plans on making legal reforms to have some of the tax revenue generated by the state injected into local councils to boost its income.

President Muizzu, who is on a tour of F. Atoll, made the announcement during a rally in Feeali on Sunday afternoon.

Addressing the rally, President Muizzu said that injecting tax revenue into local councils will facilitate the implementation of multiple initiatives that are beneficial to the people.

“The state generates income from taxes on tourism and other sectors. We will reform the Taxation Act and other relevant laws to inject a certain percentage of the tax revenue directly into councils. There’s a lot that councils can do for the development of islands through this,” he said.

Highlighting on the decision to involve local councils and small businesses in the lease of uninhabited islands, President Muizzu said he wants to enrich the people and make them more self-reliant.

He has named empowering and securing financial independence to councils as one of his administration’s key priorities. He said that he wants to inject revenue from tourism and other key economic sectors into local councils – reducing councils’ dependance on the central government for local developmental initiatives.

President Muizzu said he wants to produce results at a fast pace.

“As I said before, I want to produce results at a fast pace. I want to realize the people’s aspirations without wasting a single day,” he said.

Sunday’s rally had followed a meeting with members of the Feeali Council – bringing the total number of council representatives the president has met during his current tour to 168. He now has 32 councils left to meet.

Source(s): sun.mv

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MDP taking Yameen’s release to JSC is a joke: PNC

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Ruling People’s National Congress (PNC) has claimed the main opposition MDP’s complaint to Judicial Services Commission (JSC) over the delays in former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s appeal hearing is a joke.

It has been nearly four months since the appeal hearing on the crimnal sentence of the former president ended, however, the verdict is still pending.

The former president was found guilty by the Criminal Court on December 25, 2022 for the charges of money laundering and graft in the lease of Vaavu atoll Aarah.

Parliament Speaker Mohamed Aslam recently announced the opposition party was moving forward to submit the complaint over the delay in Yameen’s appeal to JSC.

In a press conference on Sunday, PNC’s senior spokesperson Heena Waleed criticized MDP and Aslam for their decision calling it was a “big joke”.

“Their claim of taking the issue to JSC for the release of Yameen is nothing but a big joke for us,” Heena jabbed.

She further highlighted the three judges in the High Court bench presiding over Yameen’s appeal were all appointed during the previous MDP-led government. Heena also said that while Aslam has claimed he would take the matter to JSC, its majority consists of MDP members including the Speaker.

“JSC is comprised of MDP members, the Parliament speaker is taking the case to a commission which has their party’s majority. So, it truly is a big joke,” Heena added.

She affirmed the current government was not vindictive, but alleged MDP took Super Majority of the 19th parliament assembly after imprisoning Yameen.

“Take a look now, all the opposition members, its leaders and the party are campaigning free and openly. Our party has intervened it,” Heena, who is also the current CEO of NSPA said.

Meanwhile, Yameen has made multiple allegations the current government did not intend to release the former PPM leader.

While he was sentenced for 11 years in jail during the former government, he was transferred to house arrest around the culmination point of Solih’s administration.

Besides this, Yameen was provided with leniencies to step out of his residence for exercise and medical checkups. However, his political activities were restricted by relevant authorities.

Despite the restriction, Yameen had actively participated in multiple PNF rallies; the new party he is attempting to start.

Though Maldives Correctional Service warned Yameen against partaking in political activities, the authority has not taken any action against him so far.

Source(s): sun.mv

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