Extraordinary sitting to constitute committees slated for Monday

Parliamentarians pictured during a parliamentary sitting. (File Photo/People's Majlis)

An additional extraordinary sitting of the parliament out of session has been slated for Monday for the reconstitution of committees arising from the changes to the parliament’s composition.

The only matter on the agenda for the sitting is the reconstitution of the parliament’s standing committees to include representatives from political parties and independent lawmakers.  

Main ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s lawmakers requested Speaker Mohamed Nasheed to extend the second session of the parliament as many integral works remain pending after most of June saw the parliament in a deadlock. Nasheed, however, concluded the session citing an extension of the session needs to be put forth by the chair.

Subsequently, MDP sought to hold an extraordinary sitting out of session. Although the extraordinary sitting was slated for Monday morning, the sitting concluded less than five minutes after it began. 

After opening the sitting, Vilufushi MP Hassan Afeef who was presiding over the sitting, announced the resignation of Nasheed and Central Hithadhoo MP Ahmed Rasheed (Checkmark Rasheed) from MDP.

Afeef, noting their resignation requires amendments to the presently proposed composition of the committees, said the extraordinary sitting cannot proceed any further.

He said the sitting can continue once the report, reflecting these changes, is circulated for the lawmakers and their amendments to the report are received.

MDP, in a press conference held after the sitting, accused Nasheed of stalling the parliament’s works in order to defend his post. Noting notice of the extraordinary sitting was served merely hours before, Aslam described the decision to hold the extraordinary sitting out of nowhere while some lawmakers were on leave as Nasheed’s intent to act in a manner that stalls the parliament’s works.

Majority leader of the parliament, North Hithadhoo MP Mohamed Aslam subsequently requested the Parliament’s Secretary General Fathimath Niusha to share scheduled extraordinary sittings and its agenda with lawmakers in writing ahead of time on behalf of MDP’s parliamentary group.

Parliament came to a deadlock due to no-confidence motions against both the parliament’s speaker Nasheed and Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla. Both of them had recused themselves from presiding over sitting pending the outcome of the motions.