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Electoral watchdog backpedals on decision to unseat 12 opposition lawmakers

Nafaahath Ibrahim
03 October 2018, MVT 13:18
The 12 opposition lawmakers previously declared expelled from parliament by the Elections Commission. IMAGE/MIHAARU
Nafaahath Ibrahim
03 October 2018, MVT 13:18

Elections Commission on Wednesday took a U-turn on their decision to unseat 12 opposition parliamentarians and declared that by-elections will not be held to fill the vacancies.

According to sources from local media Mihaaru, EC reverted their decision as the 12 dismissed parliamentarians did not meet the grounds specified by Supreme Court for a lawmaker to be unseated.

The Supreme Court had previously decided to unseat the 12 parliamentarians who had shifted from their original party Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) to the opposition parties.

The announcement made by the Supreme Court on July 13, 2017 stated that the ruling to vacate the respective parliamentary seats would be in effect henceforth, however, PPM had dismissed all 12 members, including those who had left the party of their own volition.

In a gathering held by the Elections Commission on Wednesday, it was decided the removal of the 12 parliamentarians would be nullified and that a by-election for six constituencies deprived of reepresention will be conducted.

Local news Mihaaru reports that EC has officially revealed their decision to the relevant authorities.

Following the EC's initial decision, the parliamentarians that had lost their seats were not allowed inside the Parliament House.

Out of the 12 lawmakers, the Supreme Court held hearings for four members. In the next hearing, the apex court is expected to reach a final verdict.

The constitution grants the Supreme Court authority to settle all disputes concerning the vacating of seats for all members of the Parliament.

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