Parliament Schedules Extraordinary Sitting to Set Election Date, Confirm Cabinet
The Parliament, currently in recess, is poised to hold an extraordinary sitting on Sunday. This decision follows a request from the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and The Democrats.
The Parliament, originally scheduled to resume its first session of the year on 5 February, has been called upon by the MDP and The Democrats to address and expedite pending legislative work. This request, backed by 38 lawmakers from the MDP and The Democrats, underscores the urgency of the matter at hand.
The agenda for the extraordinary session, as published by Parliament, includes debate on the report by the Government Oversight Committee pertaining to the confirmation of the cabinet ministers nominated by President Mohamed Muizzu, who assumed office on 17 November 2023. Two months into his term, President Muizzu’s cabinet has yet to receive parliamentary endorsement, a delay attributed to various reasons.
The Parliament will also review the mandates of the new government’s ministries, forwarding them to the relevant parliamentary committee for further analysis.
A notable item on the agenda is the consideration of an amendment bill to the Elections (General) Act, proposed by the MDP. This amendment seeks to reschedule the 2024 parliamentary elections, currently slated for 17 March, due to its coincidence with the fasting month of Ramadan.
The first reading of the bill, submitted by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ihavandhoo, Mohamed Shafiu, on behalf of the MDP, will take place during the extraordinary session. The issue of holding the election during Ramadan has elicited criticism from political parties. Interestingly, the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), the coalition partner of the ruling People’s National Congress (PNC), has expressed willingness to support a legislative amendment to reschedule the election for a post-Ramadan date.
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