Parliament probes legality of reappointment of three ministers

Combined file photos of (from L-R) Ahmed Usham, Dr. Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed, and Dr. Ali Haidar.

Speaker Mohamed Aslam decided on Tuesday to hold off parliamentary approval for three cabinet ministers until the Parliament decides how it will deal with legal concerns over their reappointment, despite earlier rejection by the legislative body.

The Parliament held its vote on President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu’s 22-member cabinet on January 29. Lawmakers approved 19 ministers, but rejected three. They are:

  • Housing Minister Dr. Ali Haidar Ahmed
  • Islamic Minister Dr. Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed
  • Attorney General Ahmed Usham

However, the three were reappointed and sworn in, within hours of the vote.

Opening Tuesday’s sitting, Aslam said that the request for approval for three ministers will not be scheduled until the Parliament decided how it will deal with the situation.

Instead of the request for approval for the three ministers, the Parliament heard a resolution submitted by North Galolhu MP Eva Abdulla arguing that the reappointment of the ministers was illegal.

She called on the government to respect the Parliament’s powers.

“I have decided to postpone scheduling the request made by the President seeking parliamentary approval for the three ministers who were reappointed after they failed to receive approval, until work on the aforementioned resolution is done,” announced Aslam.

Aslam referred to a similar incident in 2010, when Dr. Ahmed Ali Sawad was reappointed as the attorney general, after failing to pass the original approval vote. Sawad failed to pass the second vote, and the then-President Mohamed Nasheed appointed someone else to the post.