Parliament rejects first amendment to constitution

A bill to amend the constitution proposed by Independent MP Ahmed Amir to extend the term of local councils from three years to five was rejected at yesterday’s sitting of parliament.

The first amendment proposed to the constitution did not win the required three quarters majority – 58 votes – to pass.

Of the 55 MPs who participated in the vote, 40 voted in favour and 15 against while two abstained. Three other MPs in attendance did not participate in the vote.

Historic local council elections, which will replace the centuries-old system of island and atoll chiefs appointed by the central government with elected councils, are due to place on February 5, 2011.