Parliament sitting cancelled over loss of quorum

Today’s sitting of parliament was cancelled by Deputy Speaker Ahmed Nazim – presiding in the absence of Speaker Abdulla Shahid – after the minimum number of MPs to hold the session failed to attend when the sitting restarted at 11:00am.

Quorum was first lost an hour into the sitting, which began at 9:00am. The sitting was called off when quorum was not met after an adjournment of 30 minutes.

Before the cancellation, preliminary debate continued on a resolution submitted by Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Ahmed Sameer calling for an inquiry into the government obtaining a MVR 300 million loan from the Bank of the Maldives in alleged violation of the Public Finance Act.

Debate also took place on a bill proposed by Independent MP for Kulhudhufushi South Mohamed ‘Kutti’ Nasheed specifying guidelines on exercising the right to remain silent.

Several MPs contended that the bill contravened constitutional clauses on the rights of the accused. However, other MPs argued that the law was necessary to combat rising crime rates.

MP Nasheed meanwhile explained that the legislation specifies circumstances where the right to remain silent could not be exercised.

Meanwhile, Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) MP Ahmed Mahloof said on his Twitter account that a number of people were unable to travel to Male’ after the Eid holidays due to bad weather.

“We are stuck in Mulah,” he tweeted. A PPM team including a number of MPs were in Meemu atoll ahead of Monday’s by-election for a vacant atoll council seat from the Mulaku constituency.

The PPM for Galolhu South urged the government to declare Tuesday a public holiday.