As the campaigning for parliamentary elections intensifies, parliamentarians have set aside their constitutional responsibilities in favour of campaign activities, raising concerns about governance and accountability.

The Parliament secretariat’s decision to forgo daily sittings, as revealed by Parliamentary Communication Director Hassan Ziyau, contravenes the mandated minimum of three sessions per week as stipulated by Rule 47 of the Rules of Procedure. 

This adjustment has led to a reduction in parliamentary activity, with only one sitting occurring last week, purportedly to free members for the impending parliamentary elections. 

This move has sparked criticism, notably from Hassan Latheef, the leader of the opposition Democrats. Latheef has filed an emergency motion urging the resumption of regular sittings, highlighting the suspension’s detrimental impact on state interests and governance. 

The lack of parliamentary sessions not only delays critical legislative work but also impedes the oversight of government actions. Latheef’s motion, based on Articles 47 and 25 of the Parliament’s Standing Orders, underscores the necessity of adhering to constitutional mandates for the proper functioning of democracy and the safeguarding of public interests. 

The decision to limit parliamentary sittings ahead of elections raises questions about the prioritisation of political campaigning over legislative duties, potentially undermining public trust in democratic institutions.