The Majlis’s Government Accountability Committee yesterday approved only one of four proposed cabinet members after half of the government coalition’s committee members failed to vote for them.
The governing coalition holds a majority of seats on the committee, with eight members compared to the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) three.
At yesterday’s committee meeting, only the proposed appointee for the Ministry of Gender, Dhiyana Saeed of the Jumhooree Party (JP), was approved by those present.
Three of the pro-government members of the committee failed to attend yesterday’s vote whilst another voted against the appointments, resulting in the failure to gain the votes required to approve three of the government’s candidates.
Following the government’s re-structuring of cabinet, two new members required parliamentary approval, whilst two others required the Majlis’s confirmation after changes to their ministerial portfolios.
MP for Feydhoo constituency Alhan Fahmy is reported by Haveeru to have voted alongside the three MDP members against the unsuccessful government nominees.
Fahmy now represents the Jumhoree Party (JP) in the Majlis after his recent defection from the MDP.
The Jumhoree Party held a council meeting yesterday evening during which it elected Dr Ibrahim Didi, another recent arrival from the MDP, at the party’s President following his uncontested candidacy.
Dr Didi, who was President of the MDP until its National Council voted him out on April 30, told Haveeru yesterday the appointment was “the happiest day of my political career.”
The JP has also announced that its council had backed Dr Didi to be the Health Minister – a position currently held by Dr Ahmed Jamsheed, whose appointment was one of those voted on earlier in the day.
Fahmy, who was unavailable for comment at the time of press, is said to have abstained from the vote concerning his fellow JP colleague Dhiyana, leaving only seven members to vote on her appointment.
Haveeru reported that the JP party leader Ibrahim Gasim will now talk to President Waheed about this proposed change to the cabinet.
The decision on these appointees will now move to the floor of the Majlis where President’s Office Spokesman Abbas Adil Riza is confident that they will still be approved.
Asked by Minivan News if the problems with the ministers’ approvals was indicative of greater problems within the governing coalition, Abbas responded, “no, it’s nothing like that”.
The cabinet changes entailed the division of the ‘Ministry of Health and Family’ into the ‘Ministry of Health’ and the ‘Ministry of Gender, Family and Human Rights’.
The ‘Ministry of Housing and Environment’ has now become the ‘Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure’ and the ‘Ministry of Environment and Energy’.