Maldives this week: 15 – 21 July 2021

President ratifies three bills, Speaker says will not support government over hate crimes bill, approval for new political party, and application made to establish another.

On 20 July, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ratified three bills – amendments to the Income Tax Act, the Maldives Statistics Act, and an amendment to the SME Act. 

On 17 July, Speaker Mohamed Nasheed said his decision not to support the government was based on the government's delays in enacting the amendments to the Penal Code to include a chapter on hate crimes.

On 18 July, President Solih, in a visit to HDh. Hanimaadhoo, said that Indian soldiers will not be present in the Hanimaadhoo International Airport, although the airport was being developed under assistance from India. He further assured that his government will not do anything to endanger Maldives' independence. 

On 15 July, the Supreme Court served notice to former Minister of Tourism Ali Waheed to attend its hearing on 2 August. The summons was in relation to the State's appeal on the Criminal Court conducting online hearings in the trial against Waheed. 

On 15 July, the Elections Commission approved the formation of the Maldives National Party. Member of Parliament for Dhangethi and former defence minister Mohamed Nazim is reported to be the head of the party. On 17 July, former minister Abdulla Kamaaludeen submitted an application to the Commission to establish the Maldives Solidarity Party.


The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has announced that local traveling to islands will be allowed to check in at guesthouses in accordance with guidelines issued, effective 15 July - those who have recovered from COVID-19 during the 60 days from the date of their positive test, and those who who have completed their second vaccine dose 14 days prior to travel. They do, however, have to have a negative PCR test, and register on the 'Haalubelun' portal. 

The HPA has also announced that all vaccination centers in the Greater Malé Area closed from 18 July until further notice, for the Eid and Independence Day holidays. Sample collection centers in the Greater Malé Area were also closed on 19 and 20 July on the occasion of Eid. 

While the severity of cases has been lessened through vaccinations, the country has also been successful in controlling the spike that it saw recently - there has been a decrease in the number of cases reported. The HPA has also said that more than 50 percent of the eligible population have now been fully vaccinated - i.e. administered the second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

With the restrictions on travel to islands lifted, and half a month of government holidays, there has been a surge in travel out of Malé for Eid. Care must be taken and guidelines adhered to strictly though, if the country does not want to see yet another surge and the resultant lockdowns. 

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