No FoI for Maldives

The Maldives Government's Freedom of Information bill has been thrown out of parliament, after MPs failed to support it in sufficient numbers. The bill, part of the Government’s broader media reform package, would have given Maldivians the legal right to demand access to Government documents for the first time ever. But now the country will not have freedom of information legislation by the time the amended constitution is complete, and probably not before next year's multi-party elections.

The Peoples’ Majlis were widely expected to accept the bill having already had the opportunity to propose amendments. But poor attendance and two abstentions derailed an otherwise unanimous vote in favour of sending the draft law to committee. Only 27 Peoples Majlis members from a possible 50 turned up for today’s vote. And even though 25 voted to accept the bill, this still fell two short of the number required to make it count.

Parliament Rejects Freedom of Information Bill (Minivan News, 14 November 2007)