President Mohamed Muizzu’s decision to reinstate three cabinet members, previously rejected by the parliament, has been met with significant opposition from lawmakers. Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Aslam on Tuesday declined to put the confirmation debate on the agenda until the legislative body concludes deliberations on a resolution against the cabinet reappointments.

On 29 January, following an extended delay and intense debate, the parliament confirmed 19 out of the 22 cabinet ministers nominated by President Muizzu. Despite the parliament’s refusal to confirm three nominees, President Muizzu controversially reinstated Attorney General Ahmed Usham, Minister of Islamic Affairs Dr Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed, and Minister of Housing, Land and Urban Development Dr Ali Haidar Ahmed on the same day.

Eva Abdulla, the Member of Parliament (MP) for North Galholu of The Democrats, has labelled this move “unconstitutional.” She submitted an early-day motion at Tuesday’s sitting of parliament, calling on President Muizzu to revise his decision in line with the constitution.

MP Abdulla argued that the move infringes on the parliament’s mandate to hold the government accountable, stating that it violates constitutional provisions and undermines public trust in the government.

“The act of reinstating the previously rejected ministers to the cabinet can be perceived as a disregard for, and a degradation of, the authority of the parliament,” she said. “Such an attempt could potentially erode the public’s confidence in the state and its government, possibly leading to a period of instability. Consequently, I am presenting this resolution to the parliament, imploring [President Muizzu] to prioritise the nation’s best interest, reconsider his decision, and adhere to the constitutional mandate.”

In the interim, Speaker Aslam has declared that the confirmation process of the three cabinet nominees will not be scheduled until such time as the parliament has had the opportunity to hear and reach a conclusive decision on MP Abdulla’s resolution concerning the matter.

“I hope that we will gain clarity on the parliament’s stance on this issue [pertaining to the second attempt to seek confirmation for three cabinet nominations] upon the conclusion of the debate on MP Abdulla’s resolution. I intend to withhold the inclusion of this matter on the parliament’s agenda until a definitive decision has been reached on the resolution,” MP Aslam stated.