President Dr Mohamed Waheed has today ratified the Political Party Bill and People’s Majlis Privileges and Powers Bill. The two bills were passed by the People’s Majlis on March 5, 2013.

Following ratification, the two bills have been published in the Government Gazette.

The Political Party Act deals with formation, registration and operation of political parties, membership and representation in elections, principles governing operation of political parties, fundraising, expenditure, dissolution of parties and principles of political parties.

The Parliamentary Privileges and Powers Act include the rights and powers of the parliament as well as the rights and powers of parliamentary committees and members of parliament.

In a statement to reporters after the ratification of the two bills, President Waheed outlined the government’s initial reasons for sending the two bills to the People’s Majlis, without ratifying.

The President said that the Attorney General had advised him that the two bills had contradictions with the Constitution. He noted that while Article 115 (c) of the Constitution states that it is the responsibility of the President to promote the rule of law and to protect the rights and freedoms of all people, the two Acts have some parts that inhibit him from fulfilling that responsibility. The President had sent a letter to the Speaker of the People’s Majlis, detailing such issues.

He also noted that some of the bills passed by the Majlis do not fully consider their financial costs and that the government faced financial constraints in implementing those laws. He said, as important bills and reforms were being submitted to the Majlis, the Majlis should consider the impacts on state expenditure.