Speaker of Parliament Abdulla Maseeh Mohamed has proposed an amendment to the parliamentary rules of procedure to require a vote to accept a resolution before opening the floor for a debate, opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MPs have revealed.
At a press conference today, MDP MP Imthiyaz Fahmy explained that Speaker Maseeh – a member of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives – had sent a letter to the general affairs committee requesting the revision.
Under the existing rules or standing orders, a resolution submitted to parliament has to be debated on the floor ahead of a vote.
Imthiyaz contended that the move by the majority party – which holds a comfortable majority in the 85-member house – was intended to “silence” the minority.
If the amendment is brought to the rules, Imthiyaz explained that resolutions submitted by the main opposition party would not be put up for a debate. A vote would first be called on whether or not to accept the resolution.
The MP for Maafanu North noted that a resolution he submitted in July calling for a parliamentary debate on a controversial decision by the Judicial Service Commission clearing Supreme Court Justice Ali Hameed of misconduct has yet to be tabled in the agenda by the speaker.
The resolution was submitted after pro-government MPs voted down a motion without notice submitted by the MDP for a parliamentary debate on the issue.