The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), which holds the majority in the Parliament, has proposed the annulment of the existing cabinet accountability law. This move is spearheaded by Hoarafushi MP Ahmed Saleem, the Deputy Speaker of the parliament.

The rationale behind this proposal is rooted in the claim that the current law predates the new Maldives Constitution, which was adopted in 2008. Under Article 98 of this Constitution, there are specific provisions for the questioning of ministers and other government members by the parliament. This questioning can occur either orally or in writing, with the requirement that the responses follow the same format.

Saleem’s bill, which seeks to nullify the existing law, argues that the constitutional provisions regarding cabinet accountability have, in effect, restricted the rights outlined in the same article. 

The bill emphasises that since the enactment of the initial law, there has been no significant revision or amendment to the process of cabinet accountability, a fact that further undermines its effectiveness. 

This law has been incorporated into Chapter 21 of the parliament regulation, but its practical implementation remains questionable, according to the bill.

Recently, the MDP has made amendments to provisions related to cabinet accountability. These amendments include the removal of the requirement that questions be focused on specific areas, as well as a reduction in the time allotted for responses. 

This simplification and streamlining of the process could be seen as a move towards more efficient governance, but it also raises questions about the thoroughness and depth of parliamentary oversight.