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Proposed constitution amendment will change JSC and limit number of MPs: AG

Attorney General's Office will be proposing over a hundred amendments to existing laws and the country's constitution including the recomposition of JSC and limiting the number of MPs.

Ameera Osmanagic
13 June 2024, MVT 22:20
Ameera Osmanagic
13 June 2024, MVT 22:20

The purpose of bill to be proposed by the state to amend the Maldivian constitution is to change the composition of Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and limit the number of members of parliament, Attorney General Ahmed Usham said today.

During a special press conference held at the Attorney General's Office (AGO) today to reveal the government's five year legislative agenda, Attorney General Usham said that the constitution amendment bill will align with the government's presidential pledge to change the composition of JSC and limit the number of MPs.

They are also exploring if any other constitutional amendments are required, he said.

"So we will bring two amendments immediately. However, we are currently researching whether additional constitutional amendments are required to further strengthen the government," he added.

He also detailed that they are yet to determine how the recomposition of the JSC and limiting the number of MPs would be structured, but assured that while the previous administration did not consult stakeholders when they planned to amend the JSC, the current administration would consult all concerned stakeholders.

"At this time we don't what the exact composition we would be proposing. However, we are holding discussions to determine the best solution," Usham said.

However, he emphasized that their highest priority would be to free the JSC from political influence. He added that all political parties would be consulted regarding limiting the number of MPs, as this is an issue that concerns the rights of all.

He went on to say that while holding all elections at the same time is a good idea, a definitive decision on the matter would be made after consulting all parties.

"Me saying a specific answer is not a good idea. Considering the matter, the best way would be to make a decision after consulting with everyone. That is how we will do it," he said.

The proposed legislative agenda of the government includes a total of 200 bills. This includes 78 bills for entirely new laws and 135 bills to amend existing legislature, which breaks down into 15 bills concerning constitutional and legal aspects, 22 bills on curbing corruption and crime, an additional 15 bills concerning national security and international matters and 20 bills concerning the community.

There are plans to propose 22 bills on money and finance, 11 bills on health-related matters, 11 bills concerning infrastructure development, and 22 bills on business and economy. Additionally, eight bills will be proposed on transport and communication matters, nine bills concerning the administration of the government, nine bills on environmental matters, eight bills on protecting liberties and rights, seven bills on the environment, and a bill to abolish 26 laws that are in violation of the constitution.