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Supreme court ruling poses questions over legitimacy of Parliament’s decisions: President

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The bill, banning national elections in Ramadan, was passed for the second time on Wednesday, just two days after President Muizzu rejected the bill. The move forces him to ratify the legislature, which he said earlier contained provisions that contradict with the constitution.

And on Thursday morning, the country’s top court ruled that the Parliament cannot disregard vacated seats and count the total seats as 80.

Addressing a rally in N. Kendhikulhudhoo, mere hours after the ruling, President Muizzu said that it had created questions over the legitimacy of all decisions made by the Parliament by considering 80 as the total seats.

He said that this includes the election postponement bill passed on Wednesday, with a majority vote of 47-14.

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

“All decisions made based on total seat count of 80 will therefore be unconstitutional,” he said, referring to the court ruling.

“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.

He said that he himself does not want to hold the elections in Ramadan.

“The oath I swore with Almighty Allah as my witness is something I must be responsible for, in this life and the next. Every phrase, every letter of the oath matters to me. I will therefore not violate the Constitution, even the smallest bit,” he said.

President Muizzu said that he himself does not want to have the parliamentary elections held during Ramadan, and that when the Elections Commission (EC) initially asked for an unofficial opinion from his regarding the matter, he had suggested holding the election ahead of Ramadan.

He said that it was the main opposition MDP – which holds a majority in the Parliament – that refused to make necessary legal amendments for pre-Ramadan elections.

He accused MDP of having a “hidden reason” for wanting to postpone the election.

President Muizzu said that Ramadan was a month for religious observances, and he does not want to be involved in campaigning during the month.

‘I do not want to have the elections in Ramadan. Ramadan is a month of worship. Isn’t this why I pledged during my presidential campaign to have government offices closed during the last 10 days [of Ramadan]?” 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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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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