The right to vote in elections cannot be abolished for [members of] the armed forces of the Maldives, declared convicted Former President Mohamed Nasheed on Wednesday.
He made the remark in a tweet, referring to the announcement made by Minister of Defence Adam Shareef late Tuesday that the government will submit an amendment to abolish Subject 20 of the Armed Forces Act in order to bar military officers from voting in elections. The Defence Minister stated that the objective of this decision is to separate the Maldivian military from political influences and to remove bias.
The Defence Minister’s announcement has been met with concern from some MPs and lawyers, who have stated that, as the right to vote is accorded to every Maldivian citizen aged 18 and above, under Subject 26 of the Constitution, this right cannot be abolished for the military via an amendment to the Armed Forces Act.
However, Subject 16 of the Constitution states that a constitutional right may be narrowed down with a law passed by the parliament. Nonetheless, such rights can only be narrowed down to standards approved and in effect in independent democracies.
The right to vote is accorded to the police, military and all armed forces of developed countries around the wold.
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Source URL: Mihaaru-News