Parliament, on Tuesday, accepted the amendments proposed by pro-government lawmakers, and has forwarded the amendment bills to the parliamentary independent bodies’ committee for review.
During the parliamentary sitting on Tuesday, the amendments were forwarded to the parliamentary independent bodies’ committee with votes from the majority of 37 lawmakers out of all 38 lawmakers, pro-government, present at the sitting.
Speaker of the Parliament, Ahmed Maseeh, had ended the sitting by announcing that a parliamentary sitting will again be held on Wednesday. Pro-government lawmakers had proposed amendments to the parliament floor during the sitting held Monday.
Ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM)'s parliamentary group leader and Villimale MP Ahmed Nihan had proposed an amendment to condition a 10-year-gap to all Maldivian citizens after giving up dual citizenship, in order to be eligible for presidential candidacy.
The proposed amendments also included recommendations to the Elections Commission (EC) by the Supreme Court during the previous presidential elections.
Other amendments proposed included a proposed amendment to prohibit scribbling or drawing on ballot papers besides the check mark next to the name of a candidate, and a second amendment proposed to raise the presidential candidacy deposit fee from MVR 40,000 to MVR 50,000.
The amendment to prohibit scribbling or drawing on ballot papers states that such ballot papers will be counted as invalid, adding a change to exclude all invalid votes from the total voters' count.
Pro-government lawmakers, furthermore, proposed an amendment to offer equal campaign broadcasts to all candidates running in the upcoming presidential elections. The proposed amendment by ruling party lawmakers demands all broadcasters to give equal air time to all candidates.