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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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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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