Proposed amendment does not restrict journalists covering elections: Miuvan

Government has stated that the scope of journalists covering the Presidential Elections 2023 are not being curtailed.

The remarks were made by Spokesperson Miuvan Mohamed on Thursday during a press conference at President's Office.

Miuvan stated that journalists will have access to the polling stations as before, and thus their rights are not being curtailed.

"The amendment does not take away a journalists right to cover the elections. In fact, it provides more opportunities to the journalists," Miuvan said.

He further added that Elections Commission has invited foreign media to cover the Presidential Elections and that no media would have restrictions for elections coverage.

Maldives Journalist Association and Transparency Maldives had released a joint statement expressing concern over the proposed amendment that only registered journalists can have access to polling stations.

The joint press release by MJA and Transparency stated that this is a concerning amendment to be proposed just months prior to the elections. They added that as the Fourth Estate, the media plays a vital role in check and balance to ensure that the polls are legitimate and curtailing their rights would raise questions about the legitimacy of the elections.

"If this amendment is passed it would take away the right to elections coverage from international media and freelance journalists in the Maldives," the statement said.

However, Miuvan stated that the amendments were not proposed to restrict the journalists in any way.