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Maldives - Constitutional Reform Proposals

*Constitutional Reform Proposals Presented to the Special Majlis*

President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom this morning presented detailed proposals for constitutional reform to the Speaker of the People’s Special Majlis, which is sitting to revise the Constitution.

The proposals were presented to the Speaker of the Special Majlis, Mr. Abbas Ibrahim, at a ceremony at the President’s Office.

The President also presented to the Speaker 16 bound volumes containing nearly 2000 submissions for constitutional revision that had been sent to the President from the members of the public, and from civil society organizations such as the Law Society of Maldives.

The Special Majlis, which is in the final stages of adopting its rules of procedure, is expected to begin its substantive sessions in early March.

Speaking at the ceremony, the President said:

“My aim in submitting these proposals is to help the Maldives become a mature, 21^st century democracy in the shortest possible timeframe.

“These reforms will strengthen the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution adopted in 1998, and further modernize the country’s political system by introducing multiparty democracy.

“On the back of the tremendous strides of social development made by the country recently, the time is now right for our nation to usher in a modern democracy.

“The people and I hope the Special Majlis will be able to complete its mandate of constitutional reform in about a year.”

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