Ex-pres Solih criticizes delay in ratification of Anti-Defection Billl

Former Maldives President and advisor to the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, has condemned the government for the delayed ratification of the Anti-Defection Bill, labeling it as a hindrance to democracy.

The Anti-Defection Bill, proposed by MDP MP Ahmed Abdulla, was successfully passed by the Parliament on April 1 with 33 MPs voting in its favour and six opposing.

According to the bill, an MP elected to the Parliament under a party banner must resign from the Parliament within seven days if they defect to another party during their term. Similarly, independent MPs must also resign if they join a party during their term. Although the bill initially included provisions for a recall vote, these were later removed during the committee stage.

Speaking at a campaign rally at GA. Maamendhoo on Saturday, Solih criticized President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu for withholding and delaying the ratification of the bill. He emphasized that the current period is an important time for such a law to come into effect, with the parliamentary election looming close.

The former president further said he had received information that the anti-defection bill would be sent back to parliament. The MDP will pass the bill even if it is sent back to the parliament, he assured.