Political parties bill passed with 10,000 member prerequisite

Parliament today passed the long-awaited political parties bill with a clause requiring a minimum of 10,000 members for registration.

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.

The legislation was passed with 64 votes in favour and four against.

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.

An amendment proposed by MP Ibrahim Muttalib to lower the figure to 5,000 was defeated 59-6 at today’s sitting of parliament.

Of the 16 parties currently in existence, only three have more than 10,000 registered members, including the formerly ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) as well as the government-aligned Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) and Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).

According to the latest figures from the EC, the MDP currently has 47,192 members, DRP has 25,190 members and PPM has 17,900 members.

Business magnate MP Gasim Ibrahim’s Jumhooree Party (JP) has 8,931 members with 5,149 pending membership forms.

The religious conservative Adhaalath Party (AP) has 5,708 members, down from over 6,000 in February this year.

President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik’s Gaumee Ihthihaad Party (GIP) has 3,427 members while the Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) led by Dr Waheed’s Special Advisor Dr Hassan Saeed has 2,125 members.

Meanwhile, 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.

Political parties were first authorised in the Maldives in May 2005 following an executive decree by then-President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. Prior to the passage of the landmark legislation today, political parties were governed by a regulation.

The regulation required 3,000 members for registration and did not stipulate that parties whose membership falls below the figure would be dissolved.

In March, EC Chair Fuad Thaufeeq told Minivan News that these regulations were “vague” as parties were not required to maintain 3,000 members.

The review of the political parties bill (Dhivehi) was meanwhile completed by the Independent Institutions Committee on December 10. Following a preliminary debate, it was sent to the committee on April 19, 2010.

Writing in his personal blog (Dhivehi) in October, the committee’s chair MP Nasheed revealed that “a clear majority” 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.

At the time, Nasheed expressed confidence that the committee’s decision would not be overturned on the Majlis floor when the bill was put up for a vote. He noted that the clauses for membership numbers were backed by the main political parties in parliament.

“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 minimum number of membership was later raised to 10,000 and the period shortened to three months before the draft legislation was presented to the Majlis floor for today’s vote.


23 thoughts on “Political parties bill passed with 10,000 member prerequisite”

  1. I fail to see : and then ? What can such a party NOT do any longer ?
    Not getting money, I understand.
    But then ? They always can participate in elections, as "independent" and then do marketing as non-party ?
    So what are the consequences of it ?
    Next to that : it's not democratic.
    One can get elected in Majlis with like 500 votes, 800, 1000 ... Take 4 MP's elected like that, and then they can not call it a party ? Nonsense. Cutting off small parties.

  2. I feel 10,000 is too high. I wonder if 10,000 had any significance or just picked because it was difficult for others to reach. Now you have a position where all the people of 1 or 2 atolls together could not reach 10,000.

  3. a party with 10,000 members to receive the state funding is appropriate considering the current population projections but the Constitution and the international treaties that State is party to guarantees to form and exercise the political freedom. therefore to force registration of political parties and sanctioning minimum no. of members for a party to operate is a violation of political freedom

  4. While about this, can you also please revise the number Mps in the Parliament?

    We need intelligent, educated, non-prostitute candidates. More than half, realistically, are imbeciles now.

  5. More members = more money.

    This will only categorize political parties according to how much money they have and thus the numbers they can buy. So the richest parties are MDP, PPM, JP, and DRP.

    Other parties will have less members only because they do not have the money.

  6. we need to reduce the number of MPs in this country before cutting down anything else. Making party compulsory amount of 10000 is not going to have any effect on our budget and infect this will help the larger parties get more.

    But if number of Mps are reduced that would reduce the huge amount from public money. If we can reduce 30 MPs, from the parliament, then it will save enough money to do 15 Islands Harbour and to build 15 nos of proper health centre in one year.

    People of Maldives need to think whether they want to have 30 Monkeys represent them in Parliament or rather need to reduce the number of MPs to 35 in the parliament and then use the those fat big salaries and allowances, insurance and travel expenses fro the MPs to develop the nation and the Islands?

  7. We are trolls! Who don't even realise when our rights are trampled when are democratic ideals are adulterated.

    The Parliment controlled by big money is busy sniping away at our rights as guaranteed by our constitution and we keep smiling like dummies. It is fast becoming a house of thugs that are increasing seen to pass regulations that makes them above the law that ordinary citizens are subject to. The cliched den of thieves are fast becoming the greatest threat to Democratic reforms won after so much of struggle.

    So our right to assembly is now limited and our right to organise political parties are curtailed. This is really gagging the public and going back on Democratic reforms. Where will all this end?

    The saddest cut to all this is that nobody is seen to mount any opposition. Of the big names only Ibra on the social media has expressed any reservations with regard to this affront against assembly and small parties.

    MP's are easily bought for money, perks n Malaysian apartments. This opens the doors to attaining dictatorial tendencies and the back door control of independent institutions via Parliment committees. All indications are that smartest of the lawyer types have been already bought and the two latest attacks on our freedoms in the form of bills limiting rights to assembly n small parties are proof to this.

    Looks as if nothing short of a revolution wouldn't get us true democracy.

  8. on top of this for very 5000 people one MP but to form a political party we need 10000 people ?

    Once a person become a MP, he can do what ever he want and he sell his votes and change due parties and then changed the legislation to get the salary for his life ?

    These jokers need to removed from the parliament and then parliament need to be abolished.

  9. Adhaalath seems to think this limit was enforced for no other reason than to destroy them.

    If they think this, then it must be true.

    And when the Parliament passes the bill, it really means most of the population wants Adhaalath destroyed.

  10. @Saleem on Sat, 29th Dec 2012 9:39 AM

    "While about this, can you also please revise the number Mps in the Parliament?
    We need intelligent, educated, non-prostitute candidates. More than half, realistically, are imbeciles now."

    Sadly, Majlis is a mere reflection of the Maldesh society. More than 50% of society is on hard drugs, the rest are lying, fornicating and murdering the few innocents that are about.

    A 16 year old girl was abducted and raped in broad daylight in Villi Male just today. Maldesh, just another village in Bangladesh...

  11. IF a person can join /give his signature to many parties simultaneously for a fee say 2000 mrf,the common man/woman of maldives can rake in some cash

  12. Finally the con artists in parliament passes a beneficial law.the only party to officially cry about it seems to b adhaalath.if they seriously cannot find 10000 people for their party, they honestly deserved to be annulled.I am trying to put this as delicately as possible for the haaby trolls out there, but it seems to me that the only sentence coming up on my mind is F**K ADHAALATH!!!

  13. State funding to the political parties should have a limitation.

    Money donated political parties or gifts above maximum amount the names should be disclosed.

  14. As @cabs stated.

    Politicians are buying membership for their political parties for 500 or 2000 Rufiyaas, this is common knowledge on the streets of Maldives.
    I would like to suggest the Election Commission take actions and conduct a study share their findings with the public. Otherwise this membership buying will become a disease and could even be a threat to the political party system itself, where a wealthy individual controls everything.
    One factor for increasing the membership drive is the funds they get form the government. I guess we must put a cap on it and limit the money given to political party, minimum, medium and maximum range.
    It is the responsibility of Election Commission that the money given to political parties is invested to bring democracy and maintain a democratic system in this country. It should take actions against all political parties that lack internal democracy. Otherwise anyone, parties like Adalath Party who enjoys the fruits of democracy and freedom of speech today, but if it wins an election it will turn Maldives to dictatorship with its openly advocated militant agenda and lack of internal democracy.
    Also the issue relation to illegally issuing several ID’s to individual to conduct voting fraud should be investigated. There was talk about it happening during the last years of Gayooms dictatorship, and now again the issue has arisen. The Election Commission and the Anti-Corruption Board should investigate the matter and find a proper mechanism to minimize these kinds of frauds.

  15. These terrorists, religious nut cases should be kicked ot of this country.

  16. Adalath wants to turn mosques and Islam as their propaganda machines, pimping Gods religion, book and house to make money.

    lol... before these beardies had a coalition for milking money out of Dr. Buruma Gasim (fool), now the state coffers are open for them.

  17. I am a prostitute. My family and I will sign to any party, for 5000/- apiece a month.

    You get your votes for 3 members guaranteed.

  18. Not being corrupt is life threatening in Maldives as Adalath is finding now.

    Adaalath part seriously needs to learn how to manipulate, lie, deceive, commit fraud, embezzle, deal in drugs, alcohol. etc. if they wish to have a party with more members.

    Adaalath has to make a choice of either being puritan or in politics.

    But stillI congratulate Adalath for resisting the temptations to be corrupt . Hold your head high. One day you will be big.

  19. Now we need to a pre-requisite for being a MP member, not just any businessmen, former celebrity or hooligans, ones with experience and served time in the government!!!


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