MDP: Will show no leeway on postponing election

MDP parliamentary group press conference on February 28, 2024. (Photo/People's Majlis)

Main opposition MDP’s parliamentary group says they will show no leeway in efforts to postpone this year’s parliamentary election.

The Parliament, on Wednesday, passed the legislature seeking to postpone the upcoming parliamentary elections for a second time, two days after the bill was rejected by President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu.

MDP’s parliamentary group held a press conference on Wednesday evening following this. Speaking at the press conference, Parliament’s Deputy Speaker, Hoarafushi MP Ahmed Saleem appealed to the government to ratify the bill postponing the election and clear up the confusion regarding the date of the election. He further said the people’s voice has been conveyed by the parliament, adding the party will undertake all efforts to achieve the people’s wishes.

Thulhaadhoo MP Hisaan Hussain who also spoke at the press conference underscored that the article in the constitution compelling the ratification of the bill mandates the ratification without further delay with the only exception to this being circumstances out of human control.

“Therefore, this is not a matter up for question, whether today, tomorrow, or the day after. As we believe, the president should ratify the bill today itself. That is the spirit of the constitution. What is mandated by the constitution and how it has been interpreted by the Supreme Court even,” he said.

The parliamentary elections is scheduled for March 17th – which falls within the first week of Ramadan.

The Ramadan election date had sparked concern from MDP regarding a likely low voter turnout, which submitted the legislature banning national elections during Ramadan.

According to the bill, if an election date falls within Ramadan, it must be held 10 days after Ramadan ends.

The bill passed on February 11, but was rejected by the president two weeks later, on Monday.

But the same bill was passed again, with a majority vote of 47-14, on Wednesday afternoon.

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.