Pres Solih supports fixing number of Parliamentarians

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih supports the amendment to the Constitution proposed by the JP Leader Gasim Ibrahim to fix the number of parliamentarians that can be elected, his Spokesperson has said.

Presidential Spokesperson Miuwan Mohamed told a press conference at the Presidential Office Thursday that the President supports the amendment. Miuwan said the President supports keeping the number of MPs at a specific number but did not say whether the current number of 87 members of Parliament would be maintained.

"The President's belief is that some sort of limit must apply. He does not recommend a specific option. He will decide after consulting the parties," he said.

The main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)'s President and Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed has also supported Gasim's motion. According to Gasim's proposition, the Constitution will be amended to limit the number of members of Parliament to 87 members. He proposed to establish 87 constituencies and elect one MP for each constituency. The bill was introduced in Parliament, and its first reading was heard on August 31.

Article 71 of the Constitution now provides that there must be two members for the first five thousand residents registered for each administrative division or two members for administrative divisions with less than five thousand residents. It also states where residents registered to an administrative division exceed five thousand residents, one additional member must be elected for each group of five thousand residents in excess of the first five thousand.