First session ends with opposition MPs boycotting every sitting

Opposition parliamentarians pictured during a rally. (Sun Photo/Hussain Hassan)

The first session of the People’s Majlis for the year 2018 ended this Sunday with no opposition parliamentarian participating in any of the session’s sittings.

11 sittings were held during the first session of this year; all boycotted by opposition MPs citing displeasure over the decision by Elections Commission to disqualify 12 opposition MPs from their parliamentary seats for floor crossing.

Though the opposition MPs boycotted the official sittings; they attended committee meetings during the session.

Any MP who does not attend any committee sittings will not receive the MVR 20,000 allowance.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court backed the Anti-Defection Act passed by the People’s Majlis this year, and expressed concern over MPs refusing to attend Majlis sittings without “reasonable cause”. The court also took note that though the MPs boycotted the sittings, they attended committee meetings.

The People’s Majlis passed two pieces of legislature during the first session of this year; the Anti-Defection Act and the amendment to Judges Act which allow disqualification if a judge is convicted of a criminal offense.

The Majlis also passed the Decree for State of Emergency declared in the country by President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom in February.

The second session of the People’s Majlis for the year 2018 is scheduled to begin on June 1.