MDP calls for immediate ratification of bill postponing parliamentary election

MDP's Chairperson Fayyaz Ismail with senior members of the party. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Hayyan)

Main opposition MDP’s Chairperson Fayyaz Ismail, on Monday, has called upon the immediate ratification of the bill passed by the parliament to postpone the upcoming parliament election. 

Elections Commission (EC) scheduled the parliamentary elections for March 17 – which falls within the first week of Ramadan – sparking concern over a likely low voter turnout.

The Parliament, on February 11th, approved a bill to amend the General Elections Act which stipulates that a national election must be held 10 days after Ramadan ends if an election date falls within Ramadan.

However, the amendment will only come into force once the bill is ratified by President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu. While the ratification remains pending – President Muizzu, while addressing a gathering in Addu City on Sunday night, said the parliamentary election will be on March 17th.

Fayyaz, in a post on X on Monday, stressed that the path that ensures greater participation from the public should be taken into consideration when holding an election.

“Holding the election to elect the advocates of the people in Ramadan construes exercising the basic right to vote,” he said.

“The bill postponing the election should be immediately ratified,” he added.

The bill was passed with the support of lawmakers representing opposition MDP and The Democrats. Pro-government lawmakers were against the bill.