Bill proposes to categorise all but policies or pledges as bribe
The government has proposed to amend the clause in such a way that it can be interpreted more broadly than it currently is.
Mohamed Muzayyin Nazim
The government has proposed an amendment to the General Election Act to make providing a service beyond pledges or policies linked to promote the general image, policy or promise of a candidate contesting an election a form of a bribe,
Ibrahim Muizzu of Henveiru North constituency presented the bill on behalf of the government. The reason cited for introducing the Bill is:
To address the problems of law enforcement and to improve the implementation of election-related activities
Clarifying what is difficult to implement due to lack of clarity in the law
Amendments to certain electoral offences prescribed in the Act
One of the major amendments in the bill was to define what a candidate would consider as promises to the people to seek votes and bribes. It has been proposed that section 74, which deals with offences and punishments, should include the offence related to bribery.
The amendment says:
In the run-up to an election, a candidate considers his general policy on promises
Apart from these promises, any statement/act/attempt to provide any money or benefit or service to any individual or group, in order to gain support for a candidate or adversely affect the electoral rights of another candidate, shall be deemed to be bribery or attempt to bribe
The government has proposed to amend the clause in such a way that it can be interpreted more broadly than it currently is. The act now contains:
From the date of declaration of election to 30 days after the declaration of the permanent results of the election, a candidate can be seen seeking support in connection with the election or to adversely affect the electoral rights of another candidate, such as giving, providing or providing services for the benefit of an individual/group/public good, or any other benefit or saying/acting/attempting to do something out of it.
Under crime and punishment was included some other things that are not in the law at present. The new amendment also makes it an offence for candidates not to file financial statements or give false information in financial statements.