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Supreme Court rules parliament MP count ‘wrong’

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Supreme Court of the Maldives has held the parliament’s decision to amend Article 49 of the Parliament’s Standing Orders to fix maximum number of MPs at 80 is in ultra vires with the Maldives Constitution.

The apex court in its order held that since Article 49 has already been repealed, there is no legal remedy.

After seven MPs resigned, parliament’s majority party, MDP, amended the Standing Orders to exclude the seven MPs from the total count.

Attorney General’s Office filed with the Supreme Court, challenging the parliament’s decision, seeking to revoke the amendment.

Parliament responded to this by completely repealing the amended article, and included a new provision.

AG Office requested from the top court to hold parliament’s amendment of Article 49 in breach of the constitution.

Justice Dr. Azmiralda Zahir, who chaired the bench, said that the Constitution ensures the election of MPs to the parliament did not intervene with the spirit of, and the fundamental rights ensured by the constitution.

The judge also highlighted that the resignation of seven MPs from the 19th Parliamentary Assembly, which originally consisted of 87 MPs, did not impede on any of the parliament’s crucial works.

“It is for this reason, I find it difficult to believe the parliament’s decision on the matter was made without ill intention,” Dr. Azmiralda said.

She further explained that the quorum of an 87-MP total parliament would be 22 members, but once the total MPs reduce to 80, the quorum reduces to 20.

The judge further noted that should 22 out of the 80 MPs do not attend parliament proceedings, it could be resolved by amending the disciplinary policies of the members.

The Supreme Court judges bench included Dr. Azmiralda along with Justices Aisha Shujuoon, Husnu-al-Suood, Mahaz Ali Zahir, and Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim.

The bench coincided with the opinion provided by Dr. Azmiralda.

The top court held that counting the total number of MPs by excluding vacant positions, was in violation with the constitution.

However, legal action on the issue is now impossible following parliament’s decision to repeal the provision.

Source(s): sun.mv

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President casts ballot in parliamentary election

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President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has cast his vote in the parliamentary elections.

President Muizzu cast his vote at a polling station based in Thaajuddeen School. Following his vote, he urged the public to exercise their right by voting promptly.

The Election Commission of the Maldives (ECM) revealed that the voting will take place between 0800hrs to 1730hrs, highlighting that voting commenced promptly at nearly all polling stations on time.

In the current parliamentary elections, the ruling party People’s National Congress (PNC) led by President Muizzu has nominated candidates to contest in 90 constituencies.

Source(s): PsmNews

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ECM urges to vote independently and promptly

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President of the Election Commission of the Maldives (ECM) Fuwad Thowfeeq has urged the populace to promptly cast their ballot.

In a message to media commemorating voting day, Fuwad Thowfeeq urged the voting population to cast votes independently and promptly. Voting for the 20th parliamentary election began at 0800hrs on April 21.

Additionally, ballot boxes are placed in all residential islands, 34 resorts, correctional facilities, industrial islands and as well as 3 countries abroad. ECM confirmed a total of 602 ballot boxes are placed.

Moreover, Fuwad reiterated that the electoral body is fully equipped for the preparation of the polling stations, highlighting that all administrative work necessary has been initiated. The ECM has initiated a reduction in the number of voters per polling station. Therefore, 500 individuals can now voter per box.

Furthermore, efforts are currently being made by the Maldives Police Service (MPS) to guarantee a smooth and seamless elections. Subsequently, MPS raised its alert level by launching a special operation named “Operation Blue Tide”. Simultaneously, it resolved to use ‘body worn cameras’ to ensure the utmost security throughout the election process.

Commander of Maldives Police Service Abdulla Shareef underscored that police personnel have been stationed at various polling stations, ensuring its safety. It further urged the public to cooperate with the temporary amendments made to the traffic guidelines. Meanwhile, transportation of heavy vehicles will be prohibited following the parliamentary elections.

Additionally, individuals with special needs, pregnant women, the elderly, and those working in uniformed services will be awarded priority access at polling stations, exempting them from queues. Concurrently, it stressed the importance of carrying official documents when voting.

The counting of votes begins 30 minutes after the polling place closes.

Source(s): PsmNews

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Voting begins for the parliamentary election 2024

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Voting has begun for the 2024 parliamentary election.

Polling stations opened in Male’ and the atolls at 0800hrs and will close at 1730hrs, as per the decision of the Election Commission of the Maldives (ECM). Voters began queuing up at the polling stations at around 0730hrs and the security envelopes were opened in the presence of the first two voters at the polling stations.

A total of 602 ballot boxes have been set up in the Maldives and three other countries for the parliamentary election. Polling stations are also open in 34 resorts, prisons and other industrial islands. The countries in which ballot boxes are placed for voting are Trivandrum in India (0830hrs to 1800hrs), Colombo in Sri Lanka (0830hrs to 1800hrs) and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia (1100hrs to 2030hrs).

ECM has made several arrangements to ensure maximum convenience to all during the election process. As such, each ballot box is open for 500 individuals. Additionally, ECM affirmed that the allocated time for voting will not be extended under any circumstances, hence urging residents to cast their votes promptly.

With a total of 93 various constituencies, the eligible voting population for the election is 284،663, including 145،302 male and 139،361 female voters. While the current 19th parliament consists of members representing 87 districts, decisions have been made such that the forthcoming 20th parliament will encompass an additional six districts. The additional six constituencies are as follows: two chairs for Male’ City, one chair for Addu City, one chair for Maalhosmadulu Dhekunuburi (Baa Atoll), one chair for Male’ Atoll and one chair for Huvadhu Atholhu Uthuruburi (Gaafu Alif Atoll).

The current parliamentary term will conclude on May 30, 2025.

Source(s): PsmNews

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