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Voting begins for the parliamentary election 2024

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Voting has begun for the 2024 parliamentary election.

Polling stations opened in Male’ and the atolls at 0800hrs and will close at 1730hrs, as per the decision of the Election Commission of the Maldives (ECM). Voters began queuing up at the polling stations at around 0730hrs and the security envelopes were opened in the presence of the first two voters at the polling stations.

A total of 602 ballot boxes have been set up in the Maldives and three other countries for the parliamentary election. Polling stations are also open in 34 resorts, prisons and other industrial islands. The countries in which ballot boxes are placed for voting are Trivandrum in India (0830hrs to 1800hrs), Colombo in Sri Lanka (0830hrs to 1800hrs) and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia (1100hrs to 2030hrs).

ECM has made several arrangements to ensure maximum convenience to all during the election process. As such, each ballot box is open for 500 individuals. Additionally, ECM affirmed that the allocated time for voting will not be extended under any circumstances, hence urging residents to cast their votes promptly.

With a total of 93 various constituencies, the eligible voting population for the election is 284،663, including 145،302 male and 139،361 female voters. While the current 19th parliament consists of members representing 87 districts, decisions have been made such that the forthcoming 20th parliament will encompass an additional six districts. The additional six constituencies are as follows: two chairs for Male’ City, one chair for Addu City, one chair for Maalhosmadulu Dhekunuburi (Baa Atoll), one chair for Male’ Atoll and one chair for Huvadhu Atholhu Uthuruburi (Gaafu Alif Atoll).

The current parliamentary term will conclude on May 30, 2025.

Source(s): PsmNews

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Maldives announces efforts to secure seat in UNSC

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President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has announced Maldives’ efforts to secure a seat in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the Economic and Social Council, emphasising that Small Island Developing States (SIDs), despite their small size, have the power to shape their futures and drive change. He made the remarks speaking at the opening ceremony of the Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS4).

Welcomed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Prime Minister Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne, President Muizzu highlighted the need for SIDS to evaluate their achievements since the first roadmap was developed at the 1994 SIDS Summit in Barbados. This year marks the 30th anniversary of that landmark event.

In his address, President Muizzu pointed out the persistent challenges faced by SIDS, including poverty, increasing natural disasters, and environmental degradation. He also noted the growing debts, inequality, and injustice that undermine the hopes and confidence of the international community. “Our vulnerabilities should not be our downfall. They should be our armour. Our rallying call”, declared President Muizzu.

He called for the international community’s cooperation in providing guidance and support to SIDS, stressing the need for these nations to take a leading role in various activities. Key areas of focus should include increasing investments, strengthening institutional governance, and enhancing integrity and accountability in governments.

President underscored that SIDS can only become a powerful force in the international community if everyone stand together and lead by example in development and progress. He expressed confidence that through collective effort, SIDS can achieve their goals and objectives.

The SIDS4 Seminar, themed “Charting the Course Towards Resilient Prosperity,” brings together leaders and stakeholders from various sectors to discuss sustainable, prosperous, and vibrant futures for small island developing countries.

Source(s): PsmNews

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Government stresses importance of digital health in island nations

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Minister of Health Dr. Abdulla Khaleel has underscored the paramount importance of digital health for small island nations like the Maldives during one of the forums at the 36th Commonwealth Health Ministers Meeting (36CHMM).

The Commonwealth, an international association of 56 member states, promotes cooperation and supports economic, social, and human rights development within member countries.

The 36CHMM is convened under the theme “Actionable Solutions to Building Resilience in Healthcare Systems within the Commonwealth, with an Emphasis on Small and Vulnerable States.” This theme further aims to address the healthcare challenges faced by vulnerable countries.

Representing the Maldives, Minister Khaleel emphasised the necessity of easy access to healthcare facilities in island countries and the efficient use of digital health systems, highlighting how the rapid transfer of patient information between health centers can expedite healthcare services.

Moreover, Minister Khaleel also detailed the Maldives’ ongoing efforts to achieve a comprehensive digital health system, aiming to enhance ease and convenience in the healthcare sector. The Maldives has submitted six proposals at the 36CHMM, focusing on policies that promote general health and ongoing initiatives to facilitate these goals. The minister noted that increasing early health screenings and the provision of health information could significantly reduce state expenditures on disease prevention.

Further discussions initiated by Minister Khaleel addressed making healthcare facilities safe from environmental hazards and improving the quality and retention of healthcare workers through increased community participation. These measures aim to substantially enhance overall general health.

The forum also discussed the impact of global environmental changes on health, stressing the need for renewable energy sources. Minister Khaleel urged stronger nations to support small, vulnerable countries, suggesting that the allocation of climate funds should consider the Multi Dimensional Vulnerability Index, rather than relying solely on Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Accompanying Minister Khaleel were Minister of State for Health Khadeeja Abdul Samad Abdulla and two officials from the Ministry of Health and the Health Protection Agency (HPA). Minister Khaleel traveled to Geneva, Switzerland, for the 36CHMM and the World Health Assembly, which began on May 23.

Notably, the 77th World Health Assembly is slated to take place on May 28.

Source(s): PsmNews

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President calls world leaders to unite to end Gaza genocide

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President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has voiced out the urgent need for international action to address the escalating conflict in the Middle East.

Beginning his national address at the opening of the Plenary session, President Muizzu drew attention to Israel’s continued defiance of the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) order to halt its attacks on the Palestinian people in Rafah. He called on world leaders attending the conference to unite in their demand for an immediate cessation of hostilities.

“As we speak, Israel is defying the ICJ’s order to immediately halt its attack on the Palestinian people in Rafah,” President Muizzu stated. “We, the world leaders at this Conference, must unite in calling on Israel to stop the war. Stop the apartheid. And stop the genocide immediately.”

Highlighting the shared vulnerabilities of Small Island Developing States to climate change, President Muizzu expressed empathy with Palestine, noting that both feel marginalized by the international system. He stressed the necessity for Israeli leaders to face justice and be held accountable for their actions.

President Muizzu’s remarks underscored the gravity of the situation in Rafah and the broader implications for international peace and security. His call to action resonated with the conference’s theme of resilience and collaboration, urging global leaders to stand together against injustice and violence.

The SIDS4 conference, which brings together leaders and stakeholders from Small Island Developing States, serves as a crucial platform for addressing not only regional issues but also pressing global challenges. President Muizzu’s impassioned plea highlighted the interconnectedness of global peace efforts and the need for a unified response to crises affecting any part of the world.

The conference, themed “Charting the Course Towards Resilient Prosperity,” aims to foster sustainable development and resilience among small island nations. However, President Muizzu’s remarks poignantly reminded attendees that achieving these goals requires a collective stand against all forms of oppression and violence, wherever they occur.

Source(s): PsmNews

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