MDP vows to protest govt move to bar soldiers from voting

Main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) on Wednesday condemned the proposed government move to bar soldiers from voting in future elections.

Defence minister Adam Shareef Umar speaking during a military ceremony on Tuesday, the minister stressed on the need for the army to be free from political influence and be dedicated in their service to the nation.

In that regard, the government would propose to annul the clause in the armed forces Act which allows soldiers the right to vote, minister had said.

In response to the minister's comments, MDP in a statement insisted that the government could not infringe any rights enshrined in the constitution.

MDP also questioned the government's motive, insisting that by denying the right to vote, the government was looking to control the military in order to protect its own political agenda.

"After denying soldiers the right to vote, the government would then turn to other state institutions. Such a blatant infringement of the people's right to vote is unacceptable," the statement read.

MDP had also vowed to stand up and protest against the proposed move.