Amendments prohibit civil servants from holding political party posts

Amendments voted through to the Civil Service Act today prohibits civil servants from either holding posts in political parties or seeking the registration of a political party.

The amendments also prohibit civil servants from using powers to directly or indirectly influence political activities as well as participating in political activity either during official working hours or in a way that casts doubt on impartiality in the performance of duties.

The amendment bill (Dhivehi) submitted on behalf of the government by Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) MP Mohamed Ameeth was passed unanimously with 40 votes in favour and one abstention.

Continuing protests on the People’s Majlis floor with sirens and megaphones into the 12th consecutive sitting, opposition Maldivian Democratic Party MPs did not participate in the vote.

Presenting the legislation (Dhivehi) in August last year, the PPM MP for Raa Madduvari explained that the amendments to the 2007 law were part of a raft of bills proposed by the government to bring outdated laws in line with the new constitution adopted in August 2008.

Ameeth said the restrictions were necessary to ensure that the civil service was free of political bias and undue influence.

In September 2011, the Supreme Court backed a ruling against the prevention of civil servants’ participation in political activities.

The apex court referred to Article 30(a) of the Constitution, which states, “Every citizen has the right to establish and to participate in the activities of political parties.