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Electoral body approves new Maldives political party

The application was submitted last month by prominent lawyer Abdulla Haseen.



The Elections Commission on Sunday authorised the formation of a new political party.

The application was submitted last month by Abdulla Haseen, a prominent lawyer associated with the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party.

The electoral body said the founders have been authorised to move ahead with procedural matters for registering the party.

Haseen, who said he did not have any issues with the MDP, explained his aim was to ensure the rights of workers.

The EC rejected the previous proposed name – the Maldives Labour and Social Justice Party. The new name is the Maldives Labour and Social Democratic Party.

Earlier this year it rejected applications to register two new parties. At present, there are six political parties in the country.

The ruling Progressive Party of Maldives has the largest membership. Two smaller parties – the Maldives Development Alliance and the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party – are in a coalition with the government.

The opposition coalition is made up of the MDP, the religiously conservative Adhaalath Party, the Jumhooree Party and a breakaway PPM faction led by former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

In 2015, the Political Parties Act was amended to set a threshold of 10,000 registered members for parties to be eligible for state funding.

Parties without 3,000 members will have three months to reach the mandatory minimum number and parties that fail to register 3,000 members will be dissolved.

Eight small parties were dissolved when the changes came into force.