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Parliament approves Nov 17 to swear in new president-elect

Fathmath Shaahunaz
28 October 2018, MVT 20:56
President-Elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih at the parliament sitting on October 28, 2018. PHOTO/MAJILIS
Fathmath Shaahunaz
28 October 2018, MVT 20:56

The parliament on Sunday night decided to hold President-Elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's oath-taking ceremony on November 17.

The decision was passed unanimously by all 62 lawmakers present at the sitting.

The motion to fix a date for the swearing-in ceremony was first reviewed by a temporary committee comprising Addu Meedhoo MP Rozaina Adam, Kelaa MP Ali Arif, Mathiveri MP Hussain Mohamed, Kanditheemu MP Mohamed Hussain, Kudahuvadhoo MP Ahmed Amir, Vilufushi MP Riyaz Rasheed, and the chair Henveiru North MP Abdulla Shahid.

The committee had unanimously agreed on November 17 earlier the same day, before forwarding the motion to the parliament floor.

Parliamentarians of the opposition coalition had initially declared that Solih must be sworn in on November 11, while ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) maintained that outgoing President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's term ends on November 17.

However, the opposition lawmakers later explained that they chose to relent as Solih did not wish to take his oath on November 11, out of consideration for national interests.

Solih had declared earlier in the sitting that he did not want to provide any grounds for potential allegations deeming his oath-taking ceremony as unconstitutional, and stated that a decision must be taken with all relevant parties coming to an agreement after thorough discussion.

In Sunday's debate prior to the vote, some of the opposition MPs stated that the Constitution clearly stated the allocated dates and periods of presidential terms. The MPs pointed out that President Yameen was sworn in on November 17 instead of the 11th in 2013 since the presidential election that year had been delayed with three rounds of voting held, due to a number of electoral issues.

The Supreme Court at the time had allowed the delay in polling and the oath-taking ceremony in light of the circumstances. Thus, President Yameen was sworn in November 17 while his predecessor Mohamed Waheed's regime was extended until the former's oath-taking ceremony.

The incumbent's oath of office states that his presidential term began on November 17, 2013 and will last a period of five years. In addition to the president, it was signed by the former Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz Hussain and the then Parliament Speaker Abdulla Shahid.

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