The confirmation of the Cabinet, nominated by President Dr Mohamed Muizz on 17 December 2023, is expected to face significant delays in parliament as the legislative body is set to head into a month-long recess on Thursday. The newly elected president selected 21 cabinet ministers and a new Attorney General, all pending parliamentary approval.

A key parliamentary committee, the Committee on Government Oversight, cancelled its last meeting on Saturday to review these nominations after failing to reach the necessary quorum. This committee plays a crucial role in reviewing and forwarding the nominations for final approval by the parliament. However, it requires a three-day notice to debate these matters on the parliament floor.

The current parliamentary session is scheduled to conclude on 28 December. With no meetings held on the crucial Monday deadline, the confirmation process is now in limbo. The parliament is not expected to reconvene until February 2024, following its recess.

The matter was complicated when the parliament, on 18 December, rejected the initial report on the ministerial confirmations, citing the administration’s failure to submit the requisite mandates for the ministries.

The main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Hisaan Hussein raised legal concerns over the legitimacy of the cabinet nominations, pointing out that the President’s Office had not submitted the ministry mandates as legally required. Speaker Mohamed Aslam acknowledged these concerns, citing Article 200 of the parliamentary regulations, and returned the committee’s report for further review.

Members of the ruling PPM-PNC coalition expressed their dissatisfaction, insisting on a parliamentary vote to decide the issue. Attorney General Ahmed Usham highlighted the constitutional processes involved in these procedures, referencing a similar scenario in 2018 where the confirmation of the cabinet nominations preceded the approval of ministry mandates.