Eleven parties face dissolution after parliament overrules president on political parties bill

Parliament has overruled President Mohamed Waheed’s veto on the political parties bill by a majority of 60 votes.

The political parties’ bill – which requires political parties to have a minimum 10,000 members before they are recognised as such, was passed by the parliament on December 2012.

However, President Mohamed Waheed – whose party Gaumee Iththihaadh Party (GIP) has a membership of just over 3,000 members – refused to ratify the bill and sent it back to parliament for reconsideration in January.

During Tuesday’s session, both parliament’s minority leader and majority leader unanimously supported to pass the bill without any amendments, forcing it through.

Out of the 67 members present during the vote, 60 voted in favor of the passage of the bill while six voted against the bill and one MP abstained.

During the debate on the matter, the government-aligned Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MPs both alleged that President Waheed had rejected the bill because it involved his personal interests and that his party GIP would be one of the first few parties to be dissolved after soon the law came into force.

However, Deputy Leader of Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) MP Riyaz Rasheed spoke in favor of President Waheed’s decision to reject the bill, claiming that the top four parties are trying to destroy the remaining political parties operating in the country – including the DQP, of which Home Minister Mohamed Jameel and Waheed’s Special Advisor Hassan Saeed are members.

According to the constitution, if a bill sent back to parliament by the president is passed again without making any changes, the bill automatically becomes law without the need of a presidential ratification.

Upon ratification, the bill will provide a three month period for any political party with fewer than 10,000 members to reach the required amount or face being dissolved.

Article 11 of the bill states that at least 10,000 signatures would be needed to register a party at the Elections Commission (EC), which would be mandated to ensure that membership does not fall below the figure.

Parties unable to sign 10,000 members would be dissolved.

The legislation passed today also stipulates that the Male’ City Council (MCC) must provide a 1,000 square feet plot in the capital for parties with membership exceeding 20,000.  The plot would be used as an administrative office or meeting hall, for which the party would be required to pay rent.

Earlier, an amendment proposed by MP Ibrahim Muttalib to lower the figure to 5,000 was defeated 59-6.

Of the 16 parties currently in existence, only five parties now have more than 10,000 registered members, including the formerly ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) as well as the government-aligned parties DRP, PPM, Business tycoon MP Gasim Ibrahim’s Jumhoree Party (JP) and most recently, the religious conservative party Adhaalath Party (AP).

Following the passage of the bill, Adhaalath Party leaders claimed the legislation was a direct attempt to dissolve the party and in the long run “eradicate” Islamic ideology from Maldivian politics and “defeat” the party’s efforts to oppose alleged attempts to secularise the country.

“This is a big political and legal challenge [they] placed before Adhaalath Party. The way the political sphere in the country is shaped today, it is very important for a political party like Adhaalath Party to exist,” said its leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla at the time.

However, on Monday, the Elections Commission informed the party that it had attained the needed 10,000 members. The party had carried out a vigorous membership campaign during which slogans such as “sign for Adhaalath party for Islam” and “defend Islam” were used.

DQP Leader Hassan Saeed followed the Adhaalath Party in warning that he would seek to invalidate the bill through the Supreme Court if it was ratified. Latest statistics shows that the DQP’s membership currently stands less than 3,000 members.

“While it is a constitutional right for anybody to form political parties, I do also believe that a right could be limited through legislation. But such a limit should be placed in accordance to principles justified in other free and democratic societies. The current bill demanding a certain membership size in order for a political party to be registered is a big problem,” Saeed was quoted saying in local media.

Political parties were first authorised in the Maldives in May 2005 following an executive decree by then-President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

The regulation required 3,000 members for registration and did not stipulate whether parties with membership numbers falling below the figure would be dissolved.


11 thoughts on “Eleven parties face dissolution after parliament overrules president on political parties bill”

  1. Minivannews, Minivannews!!! WHY SAY THIS ONLY? "Of the 16 parties currently in existence, only five parties now have more than 10,000 registered members, including the formerly ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) as well as the government-aligned parties DRP, PPM, Business tycoon MP Gasim Ibrahim’s Jumhoree Party (JP) and most recently, the religious conservative party Adhaalath Party (AP)"?? WHY NOT CORRECT IT LIKE THIS..including secularist (party which welcomes all individuals with crimes such as child abusers) agenda Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) as well as the government-aligned parties DRP (Loan shark party), PPM, Business tycoon MP Gasim Ibrahim’s Jumhoree Party (JP) and most recently, the religious conservative party Adhaalath Party (AP)

  2. Dammit! Adhaalath squeezed through. Of course they had to brainwash people into believing that it was an "Islamic duty" to join these zealots. Maldivians really need to be better educated. I can't see how a learned mind can join a medieval tribe.

  3. @Suvadheeb
    Writing is a very bad habit. It's just a way of undressing yourself. Reading your comment "....Maldivians really need to be better educated. I can’t see how a learned mind can join a medieval tribe..." tells me you make a ghastly sight. your level of education begs for upgrade.
    What is this machan?

  4. Very well said suvadheeb.. This group is not only a medieval tribe but also a cult ..they are politicizing religion and I don't understand why a person with a sound mind would join these bigots.. using religion as a tool to get people to sign up... appalling !

  5. @human being on Tue, 5th Mar 2013 9:07 PM

    You have a right to your views and mine are different. My point is that a political party that tries to garner membership by using religion as the main tool has lost all integrity.

    All political parties in the Maldives have Islam at the heart of their manifesto. This is not a requirement per se, but as per our Constitution they are bound to protect Islam. As such, anyone joining ANY political party understands that they are also bound to do the same.

    This is not the first time Adhaalath has tried to manipulate the minds of people using the religious tool. They claim that without them, Islam will get wiped off the face of Maldives! What an absolutely ridiculous assertion, considering that we have had Islam on these shores for more than 800 years and Adhaalath just about managed to garner 10,000 members.

    These guys are a disgrace to the religion and do not even have the imagination to use differentiating policies to attract supporters. Medieval minds indeed.

  6. Adalath name itself is something very abnormal. This name alone shows the intellectual deficit of its founders. Seems this name is borrowed from third class Hindi movie. Can anyone believe a pltical party with world views of that is similar to Hindi Movie, fighting for justice in the same way in Hindi movies. But the irony is what justice Adaltha is seeking for whom. I think Adalath should be named as oppressive party as their political views are more oppressive and backward. Definitely Minivan can be very unfriendly to such people.

  7. So, today MDP, PPM and co. set the limit at 10,000 for party registration and operations. Will it be 15,000 tomorrow and 20,000 next year? Will this go on till Maldives becomes a one-party state?

    Everyone knows that the 10,000 limit is a jab at Adalat and smaller parties in the guise that smaller parties are eligible for state funds. Why won't MDP, PPm and co. introduce governance and eligibility qualifiers for parties without impinging upon the right to association, if they were sincere in addressing the root issue?

    This is a purely political move that will further polarize the country.

  8. 1. The best fighters against the religion are in fact AP. By misusing religion in and for politics, based on such retareded thinking, their actions make people staying out of mosques and quitting religion.
    2. I dont have any problem if a group of even only three people call themselve a party. But it should not have the consequence of giving subsidies. In fact, every independent candidate is already a "party", though without getting money for that.

  9. I am a Maldivian, and I love my country dearly!
    There are not many worth dying for!
    And in fact, I do not like to hear or read many comments against Maldives especially!

    However, I have to admit the fact that we, Maldivians need to be better educated in many things if we are to move with the 21st century, and with the rest of the world!

    Adhaalath Party has clearly misused Islam to make their count reach 10,000!

    They openly used Islam as a tool to make people join their party! Especially the uneducated!

    If they were to call for unity, brotherhood, and greater strength of the Muslim population, they could have done so!

    But that does not mean everyone in this country or the rest of the world has to join that party to do it, or to protect and save Islam!

    Intentions of the Adhaalath Party is dangerously clear!

  10. I am not a member of any political party like the majority of Maldivians. I do not want even one RF from the state budget to be given to the parties to run their activities, specially the Mullahs.JP, DRP and MDP are run by Tycoons. Why should they get millions from our budget. This is not done in any other country.

    Parties should be funded by its own members. I strongly protest that millions of our cash are given to the parties so that they do not have to do any work to raise funds.

    Anybody who agrees with me , please email me [email protected] at so that we will make a petition to submit to the EC and Parliament to stop paying our money to the political parties which we do not belong and give these funds to upgrade IGMH or similar welfare activity.


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