Leader of Jumhooree Party (JP) and MP of Maamigili Constituency, Qasim Ibrahim has proposed an amendment to the Constitution of the Maldives to limit members of parliament to 87.
Qasim proposed the constitutional amendment in order to establish a regulation that prevents the establishment of further constituencies in the Maldives. The amendment states that increasing the number of parliamentarians every five years would become unmanageable for a small country such as the Maldives and would result in further economic challenges and various other issues in the country.
The number of constituencies has increased after every parliamentary election held under the current Constitution of the Maldives. As such, 77 parliamentarians were elected in 2009, while 85 were elected in 2015. The current parliament session consists of 87 members. The current constitution dictates that a parliamentarian must be elected to represent any community that has at least 5,000 people.
Qasim also proposed an amendment to the Criminal Procedure Act to designate homosexual and transsexual acts as serious crimes. He said that it was important to establish the designation in order to prevent individuals guilty of the crimes from being released into society and repeating such acts. He also said that individuals who commit these acts should not be allowed to remain free to spread their ideology.
The proposed amendment comes at a time when videos of high-profile men engaging in homosexual acts with a Bangladeshi national have been circulating online. Some of them have been arrested and the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) has filed charges against four of the individuals.