In the Maldives, the ruling party has proposed several amendments to the electoral system purportedly aiming to favour re-election of President Abdullah Yameen.
MPs from the Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) put forward three amendment bills last evening, two regarding the Presidential elections act and the other regarding the Elections Act.
One amendment said that a Maldivian would be barred from contesting a presidential election for 10 years after giving up dual nationality. The second change raises the deposit fee for Presidential candidate candidates from around 2,600 to 6,500 US dollars.
The change in electoral law proposes 34 amendments including a provision to prohibit protest votes or invalid votes being counted in the total number of votes. The amendment would require a candidate to secure at least 50 percent of all valid votes instead of total votes cast, to win the poll.
Presidential polls are scheduled to be held in the Maldives on 23rd September where President Yameen is a PPM candidate while several opposition leaders have been disqualified to contest as they are facing various charges.
A Supreme court ruling in February to begin a retrial of the charges against nine opposition leaders including former President Mohammed Nasheed led to emergency in the country.