Majlis committee votes to change party registration and funding requirements

The parliament’s Independent Institutions Committee has voted to change the requirements concerning registration and state funding for political parties, according to the committee’s chair and Independent MP for Kulhudhufushi South Mohamed ‘Kutti’ Nasheed.

Writing in his personal blog (Dhivehi), MP Nasheed revealed that “a clear majority” of the committee voted in favour of requiring parties to gain 5000 members before it can be officially registered, and 10,000 members before becoming eligible for state funds. The current requirement is 3000 members for both under the current regulations governing political parties.

The requirements were stipulated in the draft legislation on political parties currently being reviewed by the committee.

Nasheed expressed confidence that the committee’s decision would not be overturned on the Majlis floor when the bill is put up for a vote.

“When the law is passed, the current registered parties with less than 5,000 members would be given a six month period to reach the figure. If a party fails to reach that figure by the end of the period, the particular party would be dissolved,” Nasheed explained.

The changes would currently impact upon President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan’s own Guamee Ittihad Party (GIP) which has only 2,538 members, as well the Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) with 2,199 members.