Parliament was cancelled for a second consecutive day after the number of MPs required for quorum failed to attend the beginning of today’s sitting.
Speaker Abdulla Shahid announced the cancellation shortly after 9.10am this morning as not enough MPs were found to be present, despite ringing the quorum bell for five minutes.
Yesterday’s sitting was meanwhile called off to allow leaders of parliamentary group leaders and independent MPs to reach an agreement on reworking the composition of standing committees.
Shahid revealed today that discussions were ongoing but a compromise has not been reached so far.
Section 101(b) of the parliamentary rules of procedure stipulates proportional representation in the committees, stating that the number of MPs each party has should be taken as the basis for determining the composition of the 11-member standing committees.
Prior to the defection of three MPs in recent months and disqualification of MP Mohamed Musthafa, the formerly ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), with its 34 MPs, were entitled to five seats (45 percent) in each committee.
The present reconstitution of committees was triggered by Maradhoo MP Hassan Adhil leaving MDP to join the government-aligned Jumhooree Party (JP). Adhil was officially registered as a JP MP this week.
Meanwhile, on the recurring issue of loss of quorum halting parliament sittings, Speaker Shahid said today that he would consult parliamentary group leaders concerning amendments to regulations that would allow sittings to proceed with a lower quorum.