AG Riffath voices concern over decision to draft govt. bills from within Parliament

Attorney General, Ibrahim Riffath. (File Photo/Sun/Fayaz Moosa)

Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath has voiced concern over the decision to draft government legislature from within the Parliament itself.

The Maldivian government is expected to present 34 legislatures over the course of the current third session of the 19th parliamentary assembly.

Whereas government legislatures are usually drafted by the Attorney General’s Office, Speaker Mohamed Nasheed, during the sitting on Tuesday, announced that legislatures by political parties and individual lawmakers would henceforth be drafted by relevant parliamentary committees. Though he made no specific mention of a change in procedure for drafting of government legislature, he said that the legislatures planned by ruling MDP and legislatures planned by the government were “more or less the same”.

The Economic Affairs Committee of the Parliament initiated work on drafting Income Tax Bill, Minimum Wage Bill and Job Seekers Allowance on Tuesday – all of which are legislatures which the government announced it will be presenting.

AG Riffath, in a tweet on Tuesday evening, pointed out that the legislatures presented by the government to the Parliament was a key device which established the government’s key policies and action plan to deliver its pledges to the Maldivian people.

“A Parliament of integrity will allow this opportunity to the government,” he added.

Another top government official who has expressed concern over the seeming overlap in the functions of the government and Parliament is Sports Minister Ahmed Mahloof.

“Government bills must be drafted by the government. It’s the work of the AG Office,” said Mahloof.