President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has ratified two bills.
As such, the president on Sunday ratified the fifth amendment to the Constitution, as well as the bill on Pesticides.
The amendment bill to the Constitution was passed by the People’s Majlis on December 3, at its 74th sitting of the third session. 69 lawmakers voted in its favour.
As per the amendment, Article 231 (a) now states that Island Councillors and City Councillors shall be democratically elected by that community with a secret ballot and that along with the President of the Atoll Council, other members will also be elected under the Article 231 (b).
Article 231 (b) also now states that Presidents and Mayors of the Islands, Atolls and Cities will be elected with a secret ballot. The bill also indicates that these new amendments will be applied in the upcoming council election.With this new amendment the term of the councils has been set for five years.
Extending the term of councilors is a campaign pledge of the incumbent president.
The next local council elections will be held in April 2020.
The bill on pesticides was passed by the parliament at its 72nd sitting on November 27.
The Pesticides Act encompasses a wide range of elements including setting standards for the import, use, production, export and proper disposal of pesticides.
The bill also includes best practices for the usage of pesticides correlating with health, wellness, environmental and ecological conservation.
Both Acts have been published in the Government Gazette following ratification.