President ratifies an amendment and a new bill

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih | Photo: Sun

Male’, Maldives – President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has ratified a new amendment and a new bill, on Wednesday.

Among those ratified is the Covid-19 Special Measures Bill 2020, which will enter into force as Law No.20/2020. The legislation had earlier been passed by the People’s Majlis during the 33rd sitting of its second session this year, on 6 September 2020.

The Act’s provisions set in place special guidelines to help the country’s recovery and resilience efforts relevant to the ongoing pandemic, Covid-19. It adds safeguards against the disease’s impacts by facilitating assistance to families struggling to access basic necessities, and by ensuring temporary shelter to those in need, among other precautionary measures to prevent homelessness.

In a similar vein, the Act sets guidelines on special leave policies for employees unable to perform their routine work-responsibilities due to Covid-19. Barring extraordinary circumstances, it prevents alterations being made to an employees’ status in response to the disease. The Act also includes mechanisms to ensure that the State can continue to provide all of its functions without interruption, despite the pandemic.

Once it becomes law, the Act’s provisions will become effective 60 days following the expiry of the current state of public health emergency enacted in response to Covid-19, or 60 days following the expiry of any state of emergency declared in relation to Covid-19.

President Solih also ratified a bill on Wednesday is the first amendment to the Special Act to Ensure Enforcement of the Decentralization Act of Maldives, Law no.5/2020. The amendment was passed by Parliament at the 33rd sitting of their second session this year, on 6 September 2020.

The amendment adds three new provisions following section 7 of the Act. These provide guidelines describing the manner in which the President and Vice-President of the Local Government Authority (LGA) should be elected. Under the amendment, the President of the LGA will be answerable to the Parliament, on LGA-related matters.

Following ratification, the amendment and bill have now been published in the Government Gazette.