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It isn’t up to President to decide legitimacy of Parliament’s decisions: MDP

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It isn’t up to President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu to decide if the Parliament’s decisions are in contravention of the constitution, says Ahmed Easa, the manager for the main opposition MDP’s parliamentary elections campaign.

Easa, who serves as the parliamentary representative for Kendhikulhudhoo, made the remark in a press briefing on Thursday, after President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu questioned the legitimacy of the Parliament’s decisions in light of an earlier Supreme Court ruling.

Earlier in the day, the top court ruled that the Parliament cannot count the total seats as 80, after disregarding the seats of seven lawmakers who resigned.

President Muizzu suggested that it poses questions over the legitimacy of all recent decisions by the legislative body, including the repassage of a bill postponing the parliamentary elections.

Easa said that the president is legally-bound to ratify the bill.

“I want to say to President Muizzu that, it isn’t up to the president to make decisions regarding the passage of the bill yesterday. It is within the prerogatives of the Parliament. The Parliament has used this prerogative to make its decision. Therefore, whether to ratify the legislature or not, isn’t up to the president,” he said.

The bill, banning national elections in Ramadan, was passed for the second time on Wednesday, just two days after President Muizzu rejected the bill.

According to the constitution, if the Parliament passes a bill that is rejected by the president for a second time without any amendments, and with a clear majority of the legislative body, the president is compelled to ratify the legislature.

President Muizzu said that he has asked for counsel from Attorney General Ahmed Usham on how to deal with the bill.

“I have asked for legal counsel from the attorney general. Because a ruling such as this poses questions… regarding the legitimacy of the previous decisions,” he said.

He said that he will make his decision based on counsel from Usham, adding that he would “immediately ratify the bill if he advises as such.”

“If he counsels that the bill passed on Wednesday must be ratified, then I will immediately do so,” he said.

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

But the MDP-sponsored legislature bans national elections during Ramadan.

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

The legislature was submitted citing concerns over a likely low voter turnout.

Source(s): sun.mv

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Uthuru Thila Falhu to reduce imports, ensure food security: Minister Saeed

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Minister of Economic Development and Trade Mohamed Saeed has emphasised the government’s endeavor to enhance food security through the Uthuru Thila Falhu project, aiming to curtail imports.

In an interview with a private media outlet, Minister Saeed underscored the significance of locally sourced products in ensuring food security for citizens. He also highlighted plans for island-level production.

Additionally, Minister Saeed outlined a upcoming initiative set to launch in Uthuru Thila Falhu, focusing on bolstering food security by cultivating ample fruits, vegetables, and seafood to cater to both resorts and residential areas across the nation. He said that the project aligns with President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu’s vision for the country, aiming to transform Uthuru Thila Falhu into a pivotal food hub.

Furthermore, Minister Saeed disclosed that the Maldives Industrial Development Free Zone has entrusted the China Harbour Engineering Company with reclaiming land and establishing an agricultural zone in Uthuru Thila Falhu. The project includes the creation of a specialized agricultural zone serving as a pivotal distribution center for agricultural products and inputs.

Source(s): PsmNews

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Six independent MP-elects sign with PNC

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Six independent candidates who were elected to the Parliament in the recent elections have signed with the main ruling People’s National Congress (PNC).

In the parliamentary elections held on Sunday, PNC had endorsed several independent candidates over those contesting on the party’s ticket.

A spokesperson from the PNC confirmed on Wednesday that six independent candidates have signed with the party.

All six joined PNC on Tuesday.

They are:

  • Dr. Anara Naeem: Huraa constituency
  • Hassan Zareer: Mathiveri constituency
  • Ahmed Zameer: Central Machangolhi constituency
  • Ahmed Riyaz: Thimarafushi constituency
  • Yaseen Abdulla: Naifaru constituency
  • Azim Abdul Azeez: Vilingili constituency

The PNC had secured a landslide victory in Sunday’s elections; winning 66 out of 93 seats. With the six MP-elects who signed on Tuesday, the ruling party will have 72 seats in the next parliamentary assembly.

This does not take into account the candidates from other parties backed by the government; Maldives National Party (MNP)’s leader Colonel (Retired) Mohamed Nazim, Maldives Development Alliance (MDA)’s leader Ahmed Siyam Mohamed, and Mohamed Abbas – a political from MDA who won the Velidhoo seat.

The MP-elects who signed with PNC on Tuesday includes former party members who lost the PNC primaries held in January. They later ran in the elections as independent candidates, with the government backing their candidacy over that of the ruling party’s own candidates.

This includes Zameer and Ahmed Riyaz. Their rival PNC candidates had later dropped out of the race and backed their candidacy.

Meanwhile, Hassan Zareer, the incumbent Mathiveri MP, had won the 2019 elections on a ticket from the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP). But he, along with 13 other lawmakers from MDP, defected to PNC after MDP’s Ibrahim Mohamed Solih lost re-election.

In this year’s polls, Zareer ran for re-election as an independent candidate, but with the government’s backing.

The move by the six independent MP-elects to join PNC comes after the MDP-majority Parliament passed an anti-defection bill on April 1.

The bill, which stipulates that parliamentarians will lose their seat for floor crossing, was signed into law by President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu last week.

Meanwhile, a separate bill to include anti-defection provisions in the constitution is in the works in the Parliament.

The 20th parliamentary assembly will be sworn in on May 28.

Source(s): sun.mv

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Abdul Raheem express confidence in retaining majority of Parliament

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Special Advisor to the President Abdul Raheem Abdulla has expressed confidence that the newly elected Parliament will be retained. The remarks were made during a programme aired on PSM News.

The ruling party, People’s National Congress (PNC) secured the super majority of the Parliament, following the parliamentary elections held on April 21. Abdul Raheem stated that the majority retained is close to 80 members, including 66 PNC candidates elected, who were endorsed by President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu. He affirmed that the new Parliament would strive to amend laws and regulations such that residents attain the maximum benefit, unlike previous Parliaments.

Abdul Raheem claimed to be aware of the reasons behind the incapacity of previous Parliaments of being retained, and revealed that he knew the stories behind the resignation of 12 parliamentarians during the tenure of Former President Yameen Abdul Gayoom. Hence, he claimed to be aware of the necessary initiatives and preparations to maintain the majority of the newly elected Parliament.

Additionally, Abdul Raheem disclosed that certain candidates who were elected had previously held senior parliamentarian positions. Therefore, he ensured that the majority elected by the residents will be retained, unlike previous Parliaments.

Source(s): PsmNews

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