President reiterates election will be held in Ramadan

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu speaks at N. Holhudhoo on February 28, 2024. (Sun Photo/Moosa Nadheem)

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, despite the parliament passing the legislature seeking to postpone the upcoming parliamentary elections for a second time following the initial rejection, states the parliamentary election will be held on March 17th; which falls on the seventh day of Ramadan.

The President visited N. Holhudhoo on Wednesday as part of his ongoing tour of the atolls. Speaking at the island, President Muizzu said the nation’s situation has escalated to the parliament exerting power over the judiciary, adding that the parliament does not respect orders, even if issued by the Supreme Court.

President Muizzu described this as a scene that the public do not wish to witness. Hence, he stressed the importance of voting in a manner that will pave way to build the nation they wish to see during the upcoming parliamentary election.

“Electing lawmakers that are slaves operating on the orders of people who have influence over them and vote as they wish would result in the repetition of the scenes we have witnessed in the past three months and would direct the matters of the nation to a state unable to return from,” he said.

Underscoring the date on which a crucial responsibility needs to be exercised to build the nation’s future was nearing, President Muizzu appealed to the public to make the “right” decision on March 17th.

The parliament passed legislature seeking to postpone the upcoming parliamentary elections for a second time, with a majority vote of 47-14, on Wednesday, two days after the bill was rejected by President Muizzu.

According to the constitution, if the Parliament passes a bill that is rejected by the president for a second time without any amendments, and with a clear majority of the legislative body, the president is compelled to ratify the legislature.

The Ramadan election date had sparked concern from MDP regarding a likely low voter turnout. However, the President’s Office, in citing reasons for the refusal to ratify the bill, said that some of the provisions were in contravention of the constitution, and that changing the election date would result in “loss of public confidence.”