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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