Amendments to Armed Forces Act dismissed by Speaker

Parliament has thrown out the proposed amendments to the Armed Forces Act, put forward last week.

The Majlis was stalled last Wednesday after two contradictory amendments to the Armed Forces Act were proposed.

The first amendment came from Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP for Manimaadhoo Amhed Mujthaz, proposing Parliament should ultimately have the power to approve or deny the president’s choice for army chief.

The second amendment came from Maldivian Democratic Party (MPD) MP Mariya Didi, which was meant to counteract DRP’s proposal.

MDP’s proposal sought the Act to remain unchanged, and for President Mohamed Nasheed to have sole discretion in appointing or dismissing the army chief.

DRP’s amendment was tied at 35 on each side and was settled by Speaker of the People’s Majlis Abdulla Shahid, who cast his tie-braking vote in favour of DRP.

However MDP’s subsequent amendment passed at 35-33 votes, causing both contradiction and chaos.

“The Constitution allows me to vote only if there is a tie,” Shahid said, adding that he should not comment on the issue since his role was an impartial one.

Shahid said he “consulted the two major parties [DRP and MDP] and the leaders advised me to throw out the amendments” and leave it open for the process to be started again.

He said he thought the amendments would be resubmitted in the future, but were currently no longer on the floor.

Mariya Didi said “now the bill is as it was before,” noting that “the Speaker has exercised his discretion” and decided the bill should not be considered at this time.

“You don’t make bills and pass legislation to cater only for that day, but for the situation to be better in the country,” Mariya said.

State Minister for Home Affairs Ahmed Adil said he personally thought giving the power to parliament was “a dangerous move” and the motives for the proposed amendments were “purely political”.

He said the fact that the amendments were thrown out showed “the country is moving in the right direction.”

Adil added the Parliament “should not put their hand in the judiciary or executive branches” and each branch should remain independent of the other.


2 thoughts on “Amendments to Armed Forces Act dismissed by Speaker”

  1. I'm very glad Shahid threw the amendments out and got the Majlis back to the job of creating relevant legislation. This constant deadlock over ridiculous issues needs to stop and these two parties (MDP and DRP) need to start tackling legislation that they actually agree on!

    Leave the controversial stuff on the side for a while, and just get something passed! The lack of relevant and necessary laws are becoming slightly ridiculous.

  2. Parliament needs to discuss issues more relevent to peoples immediate needs first. What I would like to see as an urgent issue is to remove state sponsored discrimination against 'atholhuthah'. Why is nobody talking about it? I call upon the parliament and the government to make it illegal to discriminate based on the 'permanent address' on the ID card. We all should have equal rights to prosperity and opportinuties. Gone are the days when outer islanders are second class citizens. The comment is a bit unrelated to the article but it just came out.


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