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Uproar over proposed 'bribery' amendment to Penal Code

Fathmath Shaahunaz
31 July 2018, MVT 15:09
Feydhoo MP Ibrahim Didi pictured at a parliament committee meeting. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/MIHAARU
Fathmath Shaahunaz
31 July 2018, MVT 15:09

Concerns amongst the public and politicians are on the rise, with regards to a recent amendment submitted to the Penal Code by a pro-government lawmaker.

According to local media reports, the bill lobbied by Feydhoo MP Ibrahim Didi of ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), would dissolve Section 510 of the Penal Code pertaining to 'bribery', should the parliament pass to implement it.

The issue has also sparked much confusion as MP Ibrahim Didi's bill outlines amendments which are unrelated to the subject of Bribery in Section 510, but rather about "contempt of court".

Despite the confusion, the bill has drawn great criticism from members and supporters of the joint opposition including renowned lawyer Hisaan Hussain and Galolhu North MP Eva Abdulla, who are accusing the government of attempting to decriminalize corruption.

Regarding the issue, the opposition coalition's running mate for the upcoming Presidential Election, Kaashidhoo MP Faisal Naseem on Monday also objected to the bill, declaring it unacceptable.

While tensions are peaking regarding this amendment, annulling 'Section 510 - Bribery' from the Penal Code would not decriminalize bribery in Maldives, as it is still specified as a punishable offence under the Prevention and Prohibition of Corruption Act.

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