Further exacerbating ongoing concerns about the commitment of the legislative body to its constitutional duties, the Parliament was compelled to cancel a scheduled sitting on Tuesday morning due to an insufficient number of lawmakers present to meet the required quorum. 

This incident highlights a troubling pattern of irregular sittings, as many members have prioritised campaigning for the upcoming parliamentary elections over their legislative responsibilities.

The sitting, which was set for 9 a.m. on Tuesday and was to be the first of the week, was called off after only 11 lawmakers attended, falling short of the constitutional requirement for a quorum of 22 members. This cancellation serves as a stark representation of the challenges facing the legislative process, particularly in periods leading up to elections.

Compounding the issue was the absence of both Speaker Mohamed Aslam and Deputy Speaker Ahmed Saleem from Malé, with Hanimaadhoo MP Abdul Ghafoor Moosa stepping in to chair the session. Despite a grace period of an additional 30 minutes given in hopes of achieving quorum, the attempt was ultimately unsuccessful, leading Moosa to announce the cancellation of the sitting and leaving the date of the next meeting uncertain.

This event is not isolated but follows a controversial decision by the Parliament to reduce the frequency of sittings, ostensibly to allow lawmakers to engage in election campaigning. The decisions have drawn sharp criticism from various quarters, including opposition figures who argue that these actions compromise the Parliament’s ability to perform its essential functions, including law-making and government oversight.

Critics, such as The Democrats leader Hassan Latheef, have previously highlighted how the reduction in sittings obstructs not only legislative duties but also the Parliament’s role in representing the interests of the state and its citizens. The recent cancellation due to a lack of quorum further exacerbates concerns regarding the legislative body’s prioritisation of political activities over its constitutional obligations.