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Bill to nullify age of candidacy for presidency passed

Ahmed Aiham
29 November 2018, MVT 14:41
MP Ali Arif at Progressive Party of Maldives' 'Rumaalu 2' Campaign Hub. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED
Ahmed Aiham
29 November 2018, MVT 14:41

The parliament on Wednesday passed the bill to nullify the previously amended age of candidacy for presidential candidates.

The bill to nullify the age of candidacy was submitted by ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM)'s Deputy Leader and Inguraidhoo MP Ibrahim Falah and was unanimously passed with 72 votes in favour.

Current ruling opposition in the past criticized the amendment as having been targeted at various individuals.

PPM in 2015 effectively changed the age of candidacy for presidential candidates from age 30 to 65, after 77 out of the total 85 parliamentarians voted in favour of the amendment.

The amendment was supported by Maldivian Democratic Party, Jumhooree Party and then ruling coalition of PPM and Maldives Development Alliance (MDA). It was the first amendment to the constitution since 2008.

MP Falah submitted to nullify the previous amendment, to allow any individuals with the capability and requirements to run for presidency. The PPM Deputy Leader stated that the amendment was brought about at a time when the situation called for a reform.

Opposition alliance in the past criticized the amendment as having been targeted at various individuals. The amendment to Article 109, clause (c) barred Jumhooree Party leader Qasim Ibrahim and former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom from contesting in the presidential elections held on September 23.

The Constitution can only be amended through a three-quarters majority vote, which constitutes 64 votes from the current 79 parliamentarians in the legislative body of the state.

PPM has also submitted a bill to repeal the amendments made to Article 251 of the constitution, the foreign land ownership bill, which was amended in 2015 with the support of the opposition alliance.

Most countries have established a minimum age to contest for the post of Presidency at 35 years of age, while other countries have set the bar at 40 years of age. The majority of these countries do not impose a maximum age restriction to run for President.

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