President ratifies Anti-Defection Act

President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom. (Photo/Sun/Mohamed Afrah)

The Anti-Defection Act, passed by People’s Majlis last Tuesday, has been ratified by President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom this Wednesday afternoon.

It has now been published in the Government Gazette.

The Act says it will affect disqualifications informed to People's Majlis by Elections Commission from July 13, 2017. This means 12 lawmakers will lose their seats.

The 12 lawmakers are:

  • South Machangolhi MP Abdulla Sinan
  • Dhangethi MP Ilham Ahmed
  • South Thinadhoo MP Abdulla Ahmed
  • Vilingili MP Saud Hussain
  • Thulusdhoo MP Mohamed Waheed Ibrahim
  • Maduvvari MP Mohamed Ameeth
  • Dhidhdhoo MP Abdul Latheef Mohamed
  • North Thinadhoo MP Saudhulla Hilmy
  • Hanimaadhoo MP Hussain Shahudhy
  • Ihavandhoo MP Mohamed Abdulla (Muhamma)
  • Thimarafushi MP Mohamed Musthafa
  • North Fuvahmulah MP Ali Shah

The Anti-Defection Act states three grounds for disqualification – the three grounds stated in the Supreme Court order in 2017.

Grounds for disqualification: 

  • Floor crossing by leaving the political party after election
  • Floor crossing by changing to another political party after election
  • Dismissal from political party after election 

However, independent lawmakers who join a political party after election, a lawmaker who violates a three-line whip or a lawmaker who is penalized by his/her political party cannot be disqualified.