Speaker: Opposition MPs must be allowed to speak during budget debate

Speaker of Parliament, former President Mohamed Nasheed. (Photo/People's Majlis)

Speaker of Parliament, President Mohamed Nasheed has urged for opposition parliamentarians to be allowed to debate on the proposed state budget 2020 without being subjected to disruptions.

His call followed an attempt by ruling MDP parliamentarians to raise a point of order while a top opposition parliamentarian had been debating over the budget this Thursday afternoon.

Nasheed refused to hear the point of order.

He said that a point of order may be raised only when the correct procedure isn’t being followed. He said that he, himself, would be aware if the correct procedure isn’t being followed.

“It will be clear to me, myself if the correct procedure is being disrupted. Whether it’s the leader of MDP, the leader of JP, the leader of MDA, the leader of Congress, the chair will respect political parties,” said Nasheed.

He said that the Maldivian Parliament must comport its behavior similar to parliaments of developed states.

He said that the proposed state budget was linked with the interests of all Maldivian citizens and that opposition parties must also be allowed debate on the budget.

“Opposition parties must respond to the budget once its drafted and submitted by the governing party. This is this state’s political system. I, In Sha Allah, will try to follow this system in matters of this Parliament and all other matters which I’m involved in,” said Nasheed.

MDP parliamentarians had attempted to raise the point of order in the middle of PPM deputy leader, Naifaru MP Ahmed Shiyam’s debate.

Top MDP parliamentarian, Addu Meedhoo MP Rozaina Adam was named and expelled from the parliamentary chamber for disorderly behavior after she vocalized her displeasure over the Speaker’s refusal to hear her point of order.

It marked the first time for a MDP parliamentarian to be expelled during the current parliamentary assembly.