Parliament sitting cancelled after only 11 MPs show up

Lawmakers attend a People's Majlis sitting. (File Photo/People's Majlis)

The Parliament was forced to cancel the sitting scheduled for Tuesday morning due to lack of quorum.

The legislative body has not been holding regular sittings in recent weeks, with many lawmakers out of Male’ for the parliamentary elections campaign.

The sitting scheduled for 09:00 am on Tuesday – the first one tabled this week – was cancelled, after only 11 lawmakers showed up.

According to the constitution, holding parliamentary sittings require a quorum of 22 lawmakers.

Ahead of the sitting, the Parliament’s secretary-general Fathimath Niusha announced that both Speaker Mohamed Aslam and Deputy Speaker Ahmed Saleem were out of Male’. She said the sitting would therefore be chaired by Hanimaadhoo MP Abdul Ghafoor Moosa.

After taking over, Ghafoor announced that there were only 11 lawmakers in attendance, making it impossible to hold the sitting.

He gave an extra 30 minutes to see if more lawmakers showed up, but was forced to concede defeat at 09:30 am, when the Parliament continued to lack quorum.

He announced that the sitting was therefore cancelled, and said the date for the next sitting would be announced later.

With the parliamentary elections scheduled for April 21, many lawmakers eyeing re-election are busy campaigning in their respective electoral districts.

Hassan Latheef, the leader of opposition Democrats, filed an emergency motion over the failure to hold regular sittings last week.

He said that the Parliament had numerous important works pending, and urged the legislative assembly to hold sittings as required.