Speaker of the parliament, Mr Qasim Ibrahim has threatened to bring back the Anti-Defamation Act.
Speaking at a gathering held by the Jumhoory Party (JP), Mr Qasim Ibrahim; the leader of the party; said that the Anti-Defection Act will be brought back when the time comes. Mr Qasim said this in response to the criticisms he and his party are facing on social media.
“Even if the Anti-Defamation Act is not there anymore, do you think it will not be enacted again ? No, it will come back. It will come back when the time comes” said Mr Qasim.
The Anti-Defamation Act was passed during former President Yameen Abdul-Gayyoom’s administration. The Act allowed state authorities to impose heavy fines on those who are guilty of slander. Critics of the legislation, including Mr Qasim Ibrahim at the time, had claimed that the legislation was used to suppress dissenting views.
After President Yameen’s defeat in the elections, the Act was among the many other laws which were repealed as soon as Mr Qasim Ibrahim became the speaker of the parliament.
Since Mr Qasim Ibrahim has threatened to bring back the anti-defection law, it should be noted that his party has the most number of parliament members after the opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).