Vilimale’ MP and former Deputy Attorney General Ahmed Usham said on Monday that the now repealed constitutional amendment to allow foreigners to own land in Maldives was passed with the vote of parliamentarians from many political parties, including Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).
He made the remark in a tweet on Monday evening, in response to allegations that the then-ruling party Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) alone had been responsible for the controversial amendment.
“The constitutional amendment to allow foreigners to own land in Maldives was passed with the vote of many political parties represented at the parliament at the time, including MDP. Through a unified effort. Stating that PPM alone is responsible for it is a misrepresentation of the facts,” he said.
The controversial amendment to Article 251 of the Constitution to allow foreigners to own land in Maldives was passed during former Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's administration.
Prior to the amendment, Article 251 stated that non-Maldivian citizens may not be granted the right to own land in Maldives.
But the amendment allowed a clause to be added (Article 251 (a) of the Constitution), stating that non-Maldivian citizens may own land in Maldives for up to 99 years.
Legislature to repeal the amendment was submitted by then- South Maafannu MP Abdulla Rifau (Bochey) in November, 2018. He had been a member of PPM at the time.
The Parliament passed the legislature with the vote of 64 parliamentarians on April 15, and was ratified by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih a week later, on April 23, restoring Article 251 to its original form.