Amendment seeks to empower parliament to appoint EC members

Holhudhoo MP Yoonus Ali. (Photo/PSM)

A bill to amend the Elections Commission Act was submitted to the parliament on Monday which proposes to empower the parliament to appoint members to the Elections Commission (EC).

The bill was submitted by Holhudhoo MP Yoonus Ali who represents main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).

As per Article 4 of the Elections Commission Act, members of EC shall be appointed by the president. However, the President is required to submit nominations for membership to the parliament whenever necessary, in numbers of at least the required number of membership positions to be filled.

Once the parliament grants approval to the nominees, the President will be required to appoint them to EC.

Yoonus’ bill proposes to amend this article. The bill reads that it is the parliament that will have to open applications for EC membership, at every time necessary. It further states that the parliament’s Independent Institutions Committee must review granting approval to the applicants who responded to the notice and submit their report to the floor for vote. 

The president will then be required to appoint the applicants who received the parliament's approval by the majority of the votes to EC.