A proposal to limit the number of Members of Parliament (MPs) to 76 has been overwhelmingly rejected by the Parliament. The amendment, proposed by Hulhudhoo MP Ilyas Labeeb of The Democrats, aimed to modify Article 71 of the constitution. The proposal saw a substantial defeat with only 12 MPs voting in favour and 38 opposing.

The amendment was part of The Democrats’ parliamentary policies and sought to address the escalating expenditure on Parliament due to the increasing number of MPs. Currently, the People’s Majlis has 87 MPs, equating to one MP for every 5,000 citizens. This ratio is set to change with the addition of six new constituencies for the upcoming parliamentary elections, as announced by the Elections Commission (EC). This would potentially increase the number of seats to 93.

Ilyas Labeeb’s proposal included a restructuring of Parliament’s composition. It suggested allotting 55 seats for administrative districts, 11 seats to be appointed by political parties based on vote proportion, eight seats reserved for female MPs representing all constituencies, and two seats for persons with disabilities.

The rejection of this amendment reflects the Parliament’s stance on maintaining its current structure amid concerns over high spending on MP salaries and allowances. This decision underscores the ongoing debate over the optimal size and composition of the legislative body in balancing representation and financial prudence.