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International News

Mar 13, 2018

Maldives Parliament approved anti-defection bill

The Maldives Parliament has approved the anti-defection bill with retrospective effect amidst boycott by opposition MPs. 

According to the bill, MPs elected on political party tickets will lose their seat if they leave their party, get expelled, or switch parties. 

The bill would take effect from 13th July 2017, meaning that the 12 MPs that switched to the Opposition last year would lose their seats. 

The bill was passed with 35 votes as opposition MPs continued to boycott the sittings. 

A three-line whip was issued by the government coalition for Monday's sitting without any discussion with MPs.

Earlier, Supreme court in its 1st of last month's judgement had restored the seats of 12 MPS who had defected to opposition thus putting the government in effective minority. 

However, President Yameen imposed emergency in the country and got the judgement reversed.

AIR correspondent reports, the anti-defection bill is yet another attempt by President Abdullah Yameen to take control of democratic institutions. 

The bill will give powers to election commission to unseat MPs in case of defections. 

The 12 MPs who earlier defected to opposition side will lose seats as the bill will be implemented with retrospective effect. 

Opposition continued to boycott parliament and only 35 ruling MPs were present to vote in 85 member Majlis. 

A former legal director has opposed the bill saying it is against the constitution.

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