Thursday 11th Aug 2022
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freedom of expression

MP Saeed Criticises President Solih For Silencing Civil Servants With New Amendment

MP Mohamed Saeed (Maavah) has accused President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih of attempting to "muzzle" civil servants by restricting their freedom to express political views.
MP Saeed made these comments via his official Twitter account with relation to the gazetting of an amendment to the Maldivian Civil Service Act which restricts civil servants' freedom to express political views and participate in political activities. He posed several questions to the President.
In his statement, MP Saeed asked President Solih if these were his tactics to promote democracy.
MP Saeed that not much time has passed since President Solih travelled to the COP26 conference; "claiming to be a champion of democracy and the environment", he said; before civil servants and other government employees have been deprived of the right of speaking out in defence of their rights.
As per the amendment, civil servants are now prohibited from discussing and debating politics during office-hours. Participation in any political activities as a civil servant, participating in any political activities that may hinder official responsibilities, displaying a political bias are now grounds for terminating the civil servant's employment.
The amendment has attracted much criticism. As a presidential candidate on the campaign trail in 2018, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih had participated with civil servants in several political activities; such activities were actively praised and promoted by the now-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party.