Parliament accepts bill on expediting formation of Islamic University

The parliament today accepted for consideration a bill on expediting the establishment of the Islamic University of Maldives.

Legislation on establishing the Islamic University by upgrading the Islamic College or ‘Kulliya’ was passed and ratified in April. The law was due to come into force in August.

Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) MP Mohamed Waheed Ibrahim proposed amendments to the law to turn the college’s council into the university’s interim council. The acting vice chancellor will also appoint acting deputy vice chancellors in consultation with the council until the president makes new appointments.

The law currently states that Kulliya’s vice rectors will serve as deputy vice chancellors until new appointments are made. The acting vice chancellor will be the head of the council.

The amendments will come into effect following ratification by the president. The amendment bill was sent to committee for further review at today’s sitting with 32 votes in favour, 16 against, and two abstentions.

During today’s debate, opposition MPs accused Waheed of proposing the changes with the intention of dismissing senior officials at the college and current rector Dr Ibrahim Zakariyya Moosa in particular.


Parliament passes Islamic university bill

Parliament yesterday passed a bill to establish an Islamic university in the Maldives.

The legislation was passed unanimously with 55 votes in favour and outlines powers and responsibilities of the envisioned higher education institution.

Once ratified, the current Islamic college or ‘Kulliya’ will be upgraded to a university. The speaker of parliament will serve as an interim chancellor until one is appointed.

MPs of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives hailed the passage of the bill as “historic” and praised president Abdulla Yameen’s administration for submitting the bill as pledged during the 2013 presidential campaign.


Parliament accepts amendments for regulating division of assets after divorce

Parliament today accepted for consideration amendments to the Family Act submitted on behalf of the government by Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) MP Abdul Latheef Mohamed for regulating division of assets after divorce.

The bill was accepted with 41 votes in favour, four against, and sent to the Social Affairs Committee for further review.

Preliminary debate and voting on the bill took place amidst protests by the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MPs, who have been protesting at every sitting of the People’s Majlis since the arrest and prosecution of former President Mohamed Nasheed on terrorism charges.

Continuing the protests into the seventh consecutive sitting today, MDP MPs blew on whistles and used a megaphone to call for President Abdulla Yameen’s resignation.

Parliament has ceased providing live feed to television stations since the protests began.

Equitable distribution

The amendments (Dhivehi) meanwhile state that a court would decide upon the equitable distribution of marital property in divorce cases.

The court should consider the extent of both the work done as well as expenses made individually by the husband and wife for earning the couple’s money or assets.

Moreover, the court should take into account any debts incurred during the marriage as well as the needs of any children under 18 years of age.

The revisions also state that the court could order the ex-husband to pay child support and provide financial support to his ex-wife.

In his presidential address at the opening of parliament earlier this month, President Yameen said the legislation would protect women’s rights in divorce cases as pledged during the presidential campaign.

The PPM pledged in its manifesto to ensure that women get their fair share of common property after divorce.

Meanwhile, during Monday’s sitting, parliament accepted for consideration government-sponsored legislation on establishing the ‘Maldives Islamic University.’

The bill was accepted unanimously with 55 votes in favour following a preliminary debate, during which nine MPs spoke.

The draft legislation was forwarded to the National Development Committee for further review. The committee’s chairman, Ibrahim Shujau, told the press after the sitting that the legislation would be reviewed and sent back to the floor for a vote within a week.

The PPM MP for Baarah said the bill would be passed into law by the end of the month, noting that establishing an Islamic University was an important pledge of President Abdulla Yameen.

Once ratified, the existing Islamic College or Kulliyah would be renamed the Islamic University of Maldives.

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Vice President departs on official visit to Qatar and Kuwait

Vice President Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed departed on an official visit to Qatar and Kuwait last night.

Speaking to reporters prior to his departure, Dr Jameel said the main purpose of the trip was to strengthen ties with Arab Islamic nations.

He added that the government was seeking investments from Arab countries in healthcare and housing as well as assistance for development projects.

Discussions would also take place about establishing an Islamic university in the Maldives, he said.

“In addition to this, we will also talk with these countries about providing budget support to the Maldives,” he said.

The vice president was accompanied on the trip by Islamic Minister Dr Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed and President’s Office Minister Abdulla Ameen.