MPs from the People’s Alliance (PA) party have said they will boycott the speech to be given by President Mohamed Nasheed at the first parliamentary session of 2011.
”PA believes that the Presidential address Nasheed gave during the first sitting of the first session of 2010 was not given as stated in article 84 of the constitution,” said the PA in a statement.
Article 84 of the constitution says that at the beginning of the first parliament session of each year, the President shall address the Majlis on the state of the country, as well as present proposals for trying to improve the nation.
The PA stated that rather than giving Nasheed’s presidential address as a speech based on the state of the nation and proposals to improve the state, his last opening address was based on threatening opposition figures.
”The presidential address was a hopeless speech, thus a speech that threatened the citizens,” said the party in the statement.
PA alleged that the president had attempted to smear the respect and sanctity of parliament and also attempted to make the pubic lose confidence in their the MPs.
The party recalled the arrest of Jumhoory Party leader and MP Gasim Ibrahim, as well as PA Leader and MP Abdulla Yamin, claiming the president misused the power of the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) to detain them.
Criminal charges against the opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MPs Ali Waheed and Mahlouf were said to be politically motivated, the party alleged.
”Moreover, he [the president] made false accusations about MPs, made the entire cabinet resign, called MPs ‘wild animals’, attempted to run the government with a cabinet that does not have the consent of the parliament and made the parliament face obstacles in conducting its work fully,” claimed the PA. ”[Nasheed] gave warnings about all this during his presidential address [in 2010].”
The PA also claimed that the current government has always violated the constitution and laws.
Press Secretary for the President Mohamed Zuhair told Minivan News that the decision of the opposition parties were against the national spirit.
”It is the constitutional duty of the president, not something that is initiated by the government,” said Zuhair. He added that the President will give his presidential speech regardless of whether members of the opposition boycotted it.
Zuhair said ”that means the opposition started to use National Ceremonies as political tools.”
”If they boycott the presidential address, they are betraying the citizens,” he said. ”They are the symbols of the citizens.”