The Edition


Parliament rejects bill to establish single media regulatory body

Fathmath Shaahunaz
13 November 2018, MVT 17:14
Lawmakers pictured at a parliament sitting. PHOTO/MAJILIS
Fathmath Shaahunaz
13 November 2018, MVT 17:14

The parliament on Tuesday rejected the bill to appoint a single body to regulate all media outlets of the nation.

The Maldives Media Commission bill, which was lobbied by member of ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and Ungoofaaru MP Jaufar Dawood, was rejected with the votes of 38 out of 66 parliamentarians present at the sitting, while 38 had voted in favour of the bill and two MPs abstained.

The bill stated that, once ratified, the Maldives Media Council (MMC) and Maldives Broadcasting Commission (MBC) would be annulled and all the media outlets of the country would then be brought under a new, single umbrella 'Maldives Media Commission' comprising of seven members.

Currently, MBC regulates all broadcasting stations, while MMC is the parent body of all print and online media. Both institutions are operated under two separate laws.

MBC comprises of seven members, that are approved by the parliament from a pool of nominees forwarded by the president.

Meanwhile MMC comprises 15 members, eight of whom represent various media while the other seven are elected by the public. The council is a separate independent institution of the government.

In addition to the Maldives Media Commission bill, the parliament also rejected the bill to amend the Maldives Banking Act. The bill, submitted by Gemanafushi MP Jameel Usman, was rejected with 43 votes against while 24 MPs had voted to accept the bill.