The People’s Majlis has passed a government-backed bill to alter the current legislative framework to provide the Speaker of Parliament and the Chief Justice with the highest level of protection and safety, including an official residence.
Feydhoo MP Mohamed Nihad introduced the government-backed bill, which seeks changes to the Parliamentary Privileges and Powers Act (no. 5/2013). The government is required by the new changes to provide an official residence for the Speaker of Parliament and his family, as well as the necessary staff and funding to maintain the property. Moreover, the residence must be capable of providing the appropriate safety and security, and the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) is responsible for providing security and protection to the residence and the speaker. In addition, the amendments specify that the staff should be assigned by Parliament.
Mathiveri MP Hassan Zareer introduced a similar bill to alter the Judges Act (no. 13/2020), which was proposed by the government. The MNDF is to provide security and protection to the Chief Judge, according to the changes. The new amendments compel the government to provide an official dwelling for the Chief Judge and his family, as well as the necessary staff and resources to keep the property in good condition. Furthermore, the residence must be capable of providing adequate safety and security, and the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) is in charge of providing security and protection to the residence. Moreover, the bill mandates that the personnel be allocated by the Supreme Court.
Following that, the bill was sent to the Committee on National Security Services’ Subcommittee, which proposed revisions and defined what constitutes family members. The subcommittee defines family members as spouses, parents, and children under the age of 18. Children above the age of 18 who are not married are also considered family members.
The proposed amendments establishing official residences for the heads of all branches of government were passed with 56 votes.
The move to reinforce security comes after an IED was detonated around 20:20 on 6th May leaving Speaker Mohamed Nasheed and three others injured. The suspects arrested in connection with the attack are Ahmed Adhuham, Mujaaz Ahmed, Thahmeen Ahmed, and Ahmed Fathih.