K. Male'
27 Feb 2024 | Tue 07:55
President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu
President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu
president office
Postponing majlis elections
Legislature to postpone parliamentary polls, rejected
The bill seeks to hold the parliamentary polls after the fasting month
The bill was rejected two weeks after it was sent for ratification
The bill was rejected and sent back to parliament upon the AG’s recommendation

The legislature seeking to postpone the upcoming parliamentary elections has been rejected by President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu.

The amendment was proposed to the General Elections Act, in a bid to hold to parliamentary polls after the fast-approaching fasting month of Ramadan and was sent to the president for ratification two weeks back.

However, the president rejected and sent the bill back to the People’s Majlis without ratification, as he wishes to proceed with the current plan to hold the elections during Ramadan.

The bill sponsored by former ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) banning national elections during Ramadan, was passed with a majority of votes in favor, on 11 February 2024. The bill was sent for ratification on 12 February 2024.

Section 43 (a) of the General Elections Act was amended to state that during the elections, the Elections Commission would determine and declare the timing of ballot casting, closing polling stations and ballot counting.

Section 43 (b) states that elections shall not be held during Ramadan, even if it says otherwise in any other law.

Further, it clarifies that if the date of elections coincides with a day during the fasting month, it should be held 10 days after the end of Ramadan.

Section 43 (c) states that in the event of a situation in which the period stipulated under the special act relating to elections or for other matters under the act is not applicable, the Elections Commission may reschedule the date for elections as provided in clause (b).

However, the amendment to the general elections act has been sent back without ratification two weeks later, at a time political parties, agencies and the Elections Commission has also voiced concern over the parliamentary polls being held during the fasting month.

The government has revealed that the legislature was rejected in accordance with the powers vested in the president under Article 91 of the Maldives’ Constitution.

Further, it has also been revealed that the legislature was rejected following recommendation from the Attorney General, according to whom there are provisions in the bill which are in consonance with principles highlighted in the constitution, which may interfere with the conduct of polls in accordance with the provisions of the constitution and the conduct of free and fair elections.

It has also been revealed that they AG has advised the president that changes needed to be brought to the bill, to rectify the legislature.

Top figures in the political sphere have been expressing concern over the parliamentary polls being scheduled to coincide with the fasting month.

Speaking at the first meeting held in connection with the elections, EC’s Vice President Ismail Habeeb had also revealed that this was not what the commission wanted either.

He however assured that the decision was not reached under pressure.

Last updated at: 1 month ago
Reviewed by: Maryam Dhaanish Nasheed