Electoral body asks for by-election funds
A dozen lawmakers lost their seats in 2017 when they left the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives. The Supreme Court issued an anti-defection order unseating those who crossed the aisle.
The Elections Commission has asked the Finance Ministry for MVR14 million (US$900,000) to hold by-elections for 12 constituencies where opposition-aligned lawmakers have been controversially unseated.
The 12 lawmakers lost their seats in 2017 when they left the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives. The Supreme Court issued an anti-defection order unseating those who crossed the aisle.
The dozen MPs went to the Supreme Court in August 2017, asking it to quash their dismissal. The court has not ruled on the case yet.
The controversial ruling and dismissal was given a boost this week after the Supreme Court upheld the Anti-Defection Act, which is designed so that the 12 will retroactively lose their seats.
EC member Ahmed Akram told Mihaaru Daily that the electoral body had started preparatory work for the by-elections and that these would be scheduled as soon as the government provided the money.
The 12 constituencies are: HA. Ihavandhoo, HA. Dhidhdhoo, HDh. Hanimaadhoo, R. Maduvvari, K. Thulusdhoo, ADh. Dhangen’thi, Th. Thimarafushi, GA. Villigili, GA. Thinadhoo north, GA. Thinadhoo south, Fuvahmulah north and Machangolhi south.
Separately, the EC said Sunday it had asked the Finance Ministry to issue funds for the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party after the MDP submitted its annual report.