No obstructions in amending the constitution: Attorney General

Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath has stated there are no legal obstructions in amending the Constitution of Maldives amid the State of National Health Emergency.

The attorney general made the statement after some parliamentarians raised the question whether the constitution can be amended to postpone the local council elections, as the declaration of a state of emergency prohibits the amendment of the constitution. In a tweet, the attorney general said the president has not declared a state of emergency under Clause 253 of the constitution, thus there are no legal obstructions in amending the constitution.

Furthermore, the attorney general noted the current term of local councils will expire on June 3, after which the councils will cease to exist if new councils are not elected or if the constitution is not amended. He reiterated the necessity to amend the constitution in order to continue the terms of the current councils until the elections can be held.

State of National Health Emergency was declared in Maldives under the powers vested in the Minister of Health to activate the authorities of the Director General of Public Health, in order to implement the necessary measures to contain the spread of COVID-19. The local council election, which was originally scheduled to be held on April 4, was postponed following the declaration of health emergency.