Attorney General (AG) Ahmed Usham said on Thursday that the administration aims to, after public consultations, submit a comprehensive bill on amendments to the Constitution with a view to strengthen state administration.

Speaking at a press conference after the Cabinet’s approval of a list of bills forming the government’s legislative agenda, Usham said there were several proposed amendments to the Constitution with a view to strengthen governance and properly implement President Mohammed Muizzu’s manifesto.

The administration’s intention is to submit a single bill to Parliament instead of submitting several separate amendments to the Constitution, the AG said, explaining that the bill will be introduced after consultation with as many institutions and the public as possible.

Proposed amendments include capping the number of Members of Parliament (MPs) as well as changes to the composition of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) to avoid political interference — issues for which there is staunch public demand.

Usham highlighted that changes needed to be made to address issues such as concurrent elections and the approval of ministers.

“Our intention is to propose amendments to the Constitution in one fell swoop, that is why I am proposing that we incorporate the changes we want as well as the ideas of other agencies, after a proper consultative process,” Usham said.

While the drafting of the bills has not yet been completed, Parliament will have time to study the bills, debate them widely and seek further ideas if proposed as soon as possible, he outlined.

The administration is considering a total of 213 bills, across 15 areas, on its legislative agenda; including 78 entirely new pieces of legislation, the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) said.

The administration’s legislative agenda includes;

AreaNumber of Bills
Constitution and Legal Affairs15
Administration of the State9
Rights and Freedoms8
Islam and National Identity8
National Security and Foreign Relations15
Health and Wellness11
Land, Property and Structural Development11
Family and Social Welfare20
Corruption and Crime22
Money and Finance22
Transportation and Communications8
Education and Labour7
Trade and Economy22
Repealing/Amending Outdated Legislation26

“The administration will continue to table bills which are part of the legislative agenda across the three sessions of the parliament each year. The legislative agenda will be reviewed at least once a year, as circumstances and purposes will have to be taken into consideration in such submissions,” the AG said.

Bill submissions will be prioritised based on;

  • The administration’s manifesto pledges
  • Constitutional impact and amendments addressing legislation in conflict with the Constitution
  • Legislation required for the proper functioning of State Agencies where proper legislation is currently lacking
  • Amendments addressing practical application, and difficulties, in enforcement of the law
  • Amendments or repeal necessitated by nature of legislation being outdated
  • Legislation required for the implementation of international treaties to which the Maldives is a party

Although the agenda is set over the administration’s five-year term, it will be reviewed every year and bills to be proposed will be determined based on the prevailing circumstances at the time, the AG said.