Parliament this morning sent the Vice President and cabinet ministers’ appointment to the Government Oversight Committee, during the second sitting of the first session of the year.
Deputy Speaker of parliament Ahmed Nazim led the sitting this morning and Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MPs have been cooperating, although the MDP Parliamentary Group has decided not to cooperate with any bills sent to the parliament by the government alleging that the current government is unconstitutional.
The constitution obliges the President to submit the cabinet ministers appointment to the parliament within seven days of making appointments for approval.
Deputy Speaker Nazim today at the starting of the parliament meeting announced that many resolutions submitted to the parliament during the days of former President Mohamed Nasheed had been withdrawn by the MPs who presented those resolutions.
During today’s sitting parliament debated an the issue sent by the government to bring amendments to the government infrastructure.
The new government has proposed to change the names of the Ministry of Health and Family to the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Housing and Environment to the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure.
The government has also proposed to create two new Ministries called the Ministry of Gender, Family and Human Rights, and the Ministry of Environment and Energy.
Speaking during the parliament sitting MDP Chairperson ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manki contended that the annual budget approved by parliament did not have the funds to create the new two ministries, and that if those two ministries were created it would be an unlawful action.
He said that if the government created the two new ministries it would be a violation of the budget approved by parliament, and that it would prove to the citizens that this is an unconstitutional government.
Jumhoree Party (JP) Leader and MP ‘Burma’ Gasim Ibrahim responded saying that although the budget approved for the year did not have the budget to create two new ministries, the ministries could be created by borrowing money from the budget already allocated for the Health Ministry and Housing Ministry.
Gasim said the money could be taken from the state contingency budget as well, and said there was no legal obstruction in creating the new two ministries.
Parliament’s first sitting of the first session for the year was disrupted by MDP MPs who staged protest inside the parliament following the alleged coup.
MDP MPs obstructed President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan from delivering his presidential address to the opening session of parliament, contending that his appointment was illegitimate as former President Mohamed Nasheed had been forced to resign in a police and military-led coup.
During a second attempt on March 19, Dr Waheed was able to deliver a truncated version of his address, over the heckling of MDP MPs and large protest gatherings outside.