The parliamentary independent bodies’ committee on Tuesday passed an amendment banning anyone living abroad under political asylum from contesting in the presidential elections held in the Maldives.
The amendment proposed by Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM)’s parliamentary group leader Ahmed Nihan proposed to bar anyone with foreign citizenship from contesting until ten years have passed since renouncing their foreign citizenship.
When the amendment was sent to the independent bodies committee for review, they added a clause, which stated that any Maldivian with foreign citizenship or under foreign asylum cannot contest in the presidential election, until 10 years have passed since renouncing citizenship or asylum.
The amendment bill was passed with majority votes in favour by PPM members and Maldivian Development Alliance (MDA) members, while the opposition members voted against passing the bill.
The bill, which was sent to the parliament floor for debate, will be passed, as the opposition had boycotted the sessions.
Both Jumhooree Party (JP) leader Qasim Ibrahim and former President Mohamed Nasheed are being barred from contesting in the upcoming presidential elections, and the newly passed amendment will subject them to further complications with regards to competing in the election.
The other amendments proposed by the government include prohibiting unnecessary scribbling or drawing on ballot papers, ensuring equal campaign broadcasts for all candidates running in the upcoming presidential election, and other amendments.