The Parliament on Thursday referred to the Committee on Government Oversight the matter of scrutinising the mandates of ministries proposed by President Mohamed Muizzu under the powers vested in the President by Article 116(a) of the Constitution.

President Muizzu sent a communique to the Parliament on 18 December seeking approval of the mandates of the ministries, following which the Speaker referred the matter for committee consideration.

When ministries are established, their mandates, as well as any changes made to the mandates of existing ministries, are approved by Parliament. The Muizzu administration currently has a total of 22 ministries, including the Attorney General’s Office.

Upon scrutiny of the mandates, the committee will have to approve the report and send it to the Parliament floor, where the mandates will then be subject to a vote by the legislative body.

The committee’s initial report on the approval of ministers was found to be in violation of several rules outlined in the Parliamentary Rules of Procedure, which was flagged by MP Hisaan Hussain during the Parliamentary sitting on 18 December.

Accepting MP Hussain’s point of order, Speaker Mohamed Aslam referred the matter back to the committee after discussions with the Parliament Majority Leader Mohamed Rasheed Hussain of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), and Minority Leader Ali Azim, who is also the leader of the Democrats’ Parliamentary Group.

As the matter was referred to committee during the final sitting of the Parliament for 2023, the approval of the ministry mandates and the confirmation of the cabinet will resume once the legislative body returns from recess in February 2024.