Maldives pres ratifies motion to repeal anti-defection law

Outgoing Maldives president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom on Tuesday ratified the motion passed by the parliament to repeal the contentious anti-defection law.

The opposition coalition with its new found parliament majority had moved quickly to repeal the law ahead of the parliamentary elections next year after defeating president Yameen in September's presidential elections.

Chief government lawmaker Ahmed Nihan Hussain Manik confirmed on Twitter that the president had ratified the motion to repeal the law as passed by the parliament.

The outgoing government controlled parliament in March had passed the anti-defection law largely devised to disqualify a dozen former government lawmakers.

Top ruling party lawmaker Riyaz Rasheed had filed the motion in parliament to repeal the law.

According to the law, lawmakers elected on party tickets would lose their respective seats if they quit, change or are dismissed from the party. However, the law would not apply to independent members if they sign for a particular party.

The law also does not apply to lawmakers for violating party whip-lines or are penalized by a party for disciplinary violations.

Almost all lawmakers during the debate had agreed that the law contradicted several constitutional rights.

However, some members had insisted on the need for such a law to be brought in once the necessary constitutional amendments are passed.