MNDF soldiers’ rights to political participation “curbed” under law: Defence Minister Nazim

Minister of Defence and National Security Colonel (Rtd) Mohamed Nazim said that he would “not allow room for politics within the military”, according to local media.

The comments were made today as part of a speech given at a flag hoisting ceremony to mark the 121st anniversary of the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF).

MNDF soldiers must forgo rights granted to civilians, refrain from politics, and limit their political participation to voting only, as stipulated in the Constitution and military law, Nazim was quoted as saying by Sun Online .

“Every soldier has to accept that some of the rights granted to a civilian in an open society are restricted to a soldier. One of these rights is the right to participate in political activities. I would like to tell you that the constitution and the military law have curbed these rights from the soldier for a greater and larger purpose,” Nazim stated, according to local media.

“I would like to tell you today, that the role of a soldier is done once you exercise your right to cast your vote, entitled to every person above the age of 18. I would like to bid from all military personnel to refrain from partaking in political activities,” Nazim added.

Nazim also “assured” soldiers he will not issue political orders as long as he remains Minister of Defence.

Article 30(a) of the Maldivian constitution stipulates that “Every citizen has the right to establish and to participate in the activities of political parties.”