Cabinet passes regulation limiting ministers’ interactions with parliament

The cabinet has approved a new set of procedures governing its interactions with parliament.

“After discussing the draft Cabinet rules of procedure, the Cabinet passed relevant clauses for communications with the People’s Majlis,’’ said the president’s office in a statement last week.”

Foreign Minister Dr Ahmed Shaheed said the regulations “are quite important in terms of how the government will interact with parliament from now on. It draws a clear boundary.”

Referencing article 115 (f) of the Constitution, the new regulations state that a cabinet member can only be summoned to the parliament on mention of a the appropriate article in the constitution, and shall answer questions only during a parliament meeting.

Furthermore, cabinet ministers shall only answer to the parliament “if the cabinet minister is given the notice 14 days prior”,  and “shall only answer questions that the minister must according to the law on questioning ministers.”

Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) Deputy Leader and MP Ali Waheed said the approved procedures were “against the spirit of the constitution” and would be void.

‘’Actually, parliament has yet to approve a cabinet. When a cabinet is established we will summon them to committee meetings as well –  ministers must appear before committees in the interest of the people – the constitution is very clear. Without doubt these new procedures are void – nobody can narrow the summoning of cabinet ministers to parliament.’’

However, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Ahmed Shifaz said that according to the constitution, the reality for cabinet ministers was very different.

“It does not say that the ministers have to be present at committees hearings – the constitution says that ministers should be answerable to the parliament inside the parliament chamber, not in the committees,’’ said Shifaz.

He said that the opposition still had to approve the cabinet, and that otherwise summoning them for questioning was an act against parliamentary system.

‘’It is not the people who the opposition wish that should be in the president’s cabinet, it should be people appointed by the president,’’ he added.


5 thoughts on “Cabinet passes regulation limiting ministers’ interactions with parliament”

  1. It is good to hear Ali Waheed speak about the spirit of the parliament. Wow! The parliament has planted so much wind, it cannot escape reaping the storm.

    There are only three articles in the Constitution that deal with summoning officials and people before the parliament-- articles 98, 99 and 140. Only article 98 deals with questioning ministers, and that article must be read in conjunction with Law 2/2005 on questioning of ministers.
    Article 99 deals about the power of the parliament to summon people to give evidence. The question is, does this article refer to ordinary people, or do they refer to public officials? Article 140 means that only ministers and not officials have to be accountable to parliament. Does this mean only ministers can give evidence and that they can only do so in open session under Law 2/2005? My my, really looks like sowing the wind to reap the whirlwind!

  2. The three branches of the government have gone crazy. Making rules and taking oaths that the other branches try to discredit. Insanity! I'd rather go to the night market.

  3. Yaa Allah...
    Help us Maldivians.
    When will this end.... its all politics politics politics nothing but politics.....

  4. Look forward to a day when people in this country would realize that we are one and not made of separate parties.

    From the very day these parties formed i am against that idea. Forming parties lead to a disintegration of this society. The real goal in forming parties is to accomodate different thinking and choose the best among it. But right now to join a party means to automatically say that the other party is wrong and make them some sort of an enemy. This is really pathetic. We are one people. Together we can achieve wonders.


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