The main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has stated that the efforts done in 2016 with limited resources to hold the government accountable was successful.
Secretary General of MDP Anas Abdul Sattar told Raajje TV that a political party can ensue two paths to hold the government accountable – that is through the parliament and by street activism.
Referring to the works done by the 22 parliamentarians in the People’s Majlis, he said that their challenging work is noteworthy.
He said that despite the legal limitations on freedom of expression and assembly, the opposition party pushed for street activism with the available limited resources.
Anas said that freedom of assembly is a constitutional right, but the Freedom of Expression and Defamation Bill of 2016 had infringed the rights.
Highlighting on the arrest and prosecution of politicians, he said that 2016 had been a year in which the government tried to destroy the multi-party system.
Alleging the independent institutions, especially the Elections Commission (EC), of being unable to defend the political parties, Anas said the biggest challenge in running the party was when the EC withheld the funds for political parties.
Additionally, he expressed concern over an amendment to the Political Parties Act which annulled the party membership of “thousands of members”.
Anas added that the opposition party plans to work more effectively in 2017 with the appointment of a new party chairperson in February.