Amendments to Political Parties Act sent to committee amidst opposition MPs’ protest

Amendments submitted on behalf of the government to the Political Parties Act by ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) MP Ahmed Azhan Fahmy was sent to committee at today’s sitting of parliament.

Preliminary debate and voting on the bill took place amidst protests by opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MPs over the arrest and conviction of former President Mohamed Nasheed.

Opposition MPs have been protesting at every sitting since parliament returned from recess on March 2. Parliament has ceased providing live feed to television stations since the protests began.

According to the People’s Majlis secretariat, 20 MPs spoke during the debate. MDP MPs meanwhile used whistles and megaphones in their protest on the Majlis floor.

The amendments (Dhivehi) were accepted for consideration with 47 votes in favour and five abstentions and sent to the Independent Institutions Committee for further review.

The bill proposed abolishing or amending clauses in the political parties law that the Supreme Court had ruled were unconstitutional.

The amendments stipulate that a political party should have 3,000 registered members and 10,000 members to be eligible for state funding.