President Dr Mohamed Muizzu has today ratified the Anti-Defection Act (Act No. 3/2024). The Bill was passed by the Parliament at the Twentieth sitting of its First Session of this year, on Monday, April 1, 2024.

The Anti-Defection Act addresses the issue of elected members of Parliament, City/Atoll/Island Councils, and Women’s Development Committees (WDCs) under Decentralization Act, changing their political ideology during their tenure.

The Act deals with situations of defection where an elected member:

  • Is administratively removed from their political party
  • Decides to leave their elected party voluntarily and opts to join a different political party.
  • Renounce their Independency and join a political party

In the event any of the above mentioned circumstances arise, an elected member of the Parliament is requisite to submit their resignation, as per the Act.

The Anti-Defection Act aims to hold elected officials of the Parliament, City/Atoll/Island Councils, and WDCs under the Decentralization Act accountable to their constituents, ensuring that they remain dedicated to the political ideology upon which they were elected.

Additionally, the Elections Commission is required to hold by-elections for vacancies created as a result of defections. The Act allows members who lose their seats due to defection to contest again in by-elections.

Upon ratification, the Act was published in the Government Gazette and would come into immediate effect.