In a bid to increase transparency and regulate the burgeoning number of political appointees within the government, MP Eva Abdulla of North Galolhu has tabled an amendment to the constitution. This proposal aims to grant the parliament authority over determining the composition of the government’s ministerial and appointee count for each presidential term.

The proposed amendment, targeting Article 116 of the constitution, was submitted to parliament on 12 February. It seeks to establish a framework whereby the president would retain the prerogative to outline the domains of new ministries but necessitates parliamentary approval for both the quantity of ministries and their specific mandates within seven days of their establishment. Additionally, within 14 days, the president is required to secure parliamentary consent for the number of political appointees essential for the operational needs of each ministry.

Historically, Article 116 has provided the president with the autonomy to both create ministries and define their purviews, with the caveat of parliamentary endorsement for the disclosed information on the ministries and their jurisdictional scopes. The current Mohamed Muizzu administration has come under scrutiny for forming the largest cabinet to date since taking office on 17 November 2023, comprising 22 ministers, and an alarming number of political appointments at the ministerial rank. 

The presidency has confirmed the appointment of over 300 political positions, including 22 cabinet ministers, 12 individuals at the ministerial level, and seven at the state ministerial level within the President’s Office, alongside 90 state ministers and 150 deputy ministers across various ministries. The exact tally of political directors and appointments within state-owned enterprises remains undisclosed.

This legislative initiative also underscores a broader debate on governmental efficiency and accountability, mirroring a commitment to curtail the expansive reach of political appointments. President Muizzu, despite initial promises to cap political positions to a manageable figure, faces mounting pressure to adhere to cost-cutting measures amid ongoing appointments.

The amendment represents a significant step towards reinforcing parliamentary oversight over executive decisions regarding ministry formation and political staffing, reflecting a concerted effort to balance governance efficiency with democratic accountability.