Shareef: Refused to enter chamber as it has become opposition's political centre

Maradhoo MP Ibrahim Shareef speaking at a parliamentary sitting on April 15, 2019. (Photo/People's Majlis)

Maradhoo MP Ibrahim Shareef (Mavota) has said that MPs refused to enter the parliamentary sitting that is currently going on because the opposition is trying to debate about campaign resolutions instead of about important resolutions that have been put forth by the government.

The sitting, which began at 09:00 am today, is still being delayed as the quorum is not filled.

The Speaker of Parliament, Mohamed Nasheed, said while 23 MPs came to the sitting but some MPs belonging to MDP, which has a supermajority in the parliament, were objecting to entering parliament floor. The sitting can only proceed if 22 members are present.

Regarding this MP Shareef said that the parliament has become a political centre for the opposition's campaign and he alleged that they are trying to hold debates that are related to campaigning.

“The opposition is debating the campaign by moving a resolution postponing the important issues raised by the government. We are not getting a chance,” Shareef said.

On the agenda for today’s sitting include a resolution put forth by Maduvvari MP Adam Shareef calling for the government to start work to reclaim the maritime border that was lost as soon as possible and one put forth by North Maafannu constituency MP Imthiyaz Fahmy calling the government to uphold their pledge for a fair and independent election as the government is unjustly trying to influence elections.

The sitting can proceed once 22 members are present on the floor. The Speaker, Nasheed, has asked the members from MDP, who hold the majority, to be mindful of this.

However, some Members from MDP waited under umbrellas even after going to the parliament building, refusing to go in the floor. And so the sitting is being delayed as the quorum has not been filled.

The Speaker, Nasheed, said that because the committees were not established and there being an issue of distrust against the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Parliament, the work of the parliament has been lagging behind. However, he said that now that those issues have been withdrawn, MDP, who hold majority power of the parliament, are trying to impede the work of the parliament.

“I will say that, by acting like this, no one stands to benefit. I am sure there is nothing to be gained by stopping the People’s Majlis of Maldives,” Nasheed said.

He further said that it is not acceptable that they are staying without being present on the floor after they have sworn to advocate for the people. 

Many MPs are absent as they are participating in different campaign events for the presidential elections. Since the third term began, two sittings had to be cancelled previously as the quorum was not met and with that, the remaining sittings were postponed to be held after the elections.

However, after the first round of the presidential elections, the parliament held a meeting last week as well.