Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Maldives To Choose Government System Aug 18

The Maldives will hold a referendum Aug 18 to decide if the country is to run by a presidential or parliamentary system of government.

Election commissioner K.D. Ahmed Maniku announced Tuesday that voting will be held in all inhabited islands of the Maldives, Male newspaper Miadhu reported.

About 125,000 voters are eligible to vote in the referendum.

The People's Special Majlis passed a resolution June 18 to hold the referendum and to lower the voting age to 18. As a result, 24,000 people between 18 and 21 will be able to take part in the referendum.

Maniku has invited observers from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), the Commonwealth, the European Union and Maldives Human Rights Commission to observe the referendum.

Political parties have started their campaign already. The ruling Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) is supporting the presidential system while opposition parties, including the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), are in favour of the parliamentary system.

DRP leader and Maldives President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom announced June 28 that he would be running for presidency in 2008.

Source: News Post India

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