President Abdulla Yameen falsely claimed that the family law has been amended to allow for the equitable distribution of marital property after divorce due to a “mistake” in the written speech, his spokesperson has said.
At a ruling party rally Thursday night – its first since April 2014 – Yameen listed amendments brought to the Family Act among the achievements of his administration during the past two years.
“One big challenge we face, and we said as we campaigned for the election, and we noted in our presidential pledges, that we will ensure that a woman will receive a share of her husband’s business when their marriage breaks apart,” Yameen had said.
“This was a matter that caused divisions among us. Those who help me, and because of the extent MPs prioritise public interest in their hearts, they have brought this amendment to the Family Act. Now that law has been ratified and is being implemented.”
However, the pro-government majority in parliament had sent the bill back to committee when it was put to a vote last November. The provisions on a court deciding upon the equitable distribution of marital property in divorce cases caused difference of opinion among ruling coalition lawmakers.
In a tweet yesterday, Yameen’s spokesperson attributed the claim to “a mistake” in the written speech.
But Ibrahim Muaz Ali said the president’s subsequent remarks about conducting an awareness programme about prenuptial agreements with 50 young men and women were not inaccurate.
Some 47 people participated in the programme, Muaz said.
The ruling Progressive Party of Maldives had pledged in its 2013 presidential election manifesto to ensure that women get their fair share of common property after divorce.
Yameen had pledged to pass the legislation during his presidential address at the opening of parliament last year.
The proposed amendments to the Family Act also states that the the court could order the ex-husband to pay child support or alimony payments and provide financial support to his ex-wife.
However, local media reported last week that the funds have yet to be released. Maleeh Ali Jaleel, managing director of the Get Set programme, told Sun Online that the economic development ministry was in the process of finalising the loans, which will be disbursed later this month.
Yameen also said that the government has conducted health screening for “10,500 students from across the Maldives, from Malé and the atolls”.
But according to the education ministry, only 5,034 first graders were screened for health problems.