Maldives opposition vows to repeal foreign land ownership law

An opposition alliance government would repeal the law which allows foreign landownership in the archipelago, opposition presidential candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih pledged Friday.

In July 2015, the government controlled parliament passed a new law allowing foreigners who invest more than USD1 billion to own land in perpetuity, provided 70 percent of it is reclaimed from the Indian Ocean.

The law was backed by several opposition lawmakers including Solih's Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).

During a campaign event organized by the MDP youth wing on Friday evening, the veteran lawmaker Solih defended his party's decision saying that MDP had then issued a free whip for the vote to amend the constitution.

Solih added that he had personally voted against bill but said as the MDP parliamentary group leader he takes full responsibility for allowing the government to push through the move.

He further said that if elected, the opposition would repeal the law to rectify the mistake.