Foreign minister “very critical” after heart attack

Foreign Minister Dr Abdul Samad Abdulla has been admitted to intensive care in Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital after suffering a severe heart attack.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has described the minister’s condition as “very critical”.

Dr Samad, 67, has served in numerous roles for both the Maldives Health Ministry and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

He has also served as the first High Commissioner of the Republic of Maldives to the Peoples Republic of Bangladesh and was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs in March 2012.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman explained that Dr Samad had originally travelled to Singapore for medical purposes. Local media has reported that the purpose of the trip was to undergo kidney dialysis.

It has also been reported that Samad underwent heart bypass surgery 15 years ago.


Speaker cancels parliament after MPs continue dispute over cabinet endorsement

The parliament sitting today was again cancelled after the opposition and ruling party MPs clashed over the issue of cabinet endorsement.

Newly-appointed spokesperson of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Alhan Fahmy told Minivan News that the parliament sitting became heated after the MDP parliamentary group leader MP Moosa ‘Reeko’ Manik took a point of order saying that the cabinet endorsement should only be included in the agenda after amending parliament’s rules of procedure.

“Moosa said that parliament should only proceed with the issue after amending the rules of procedure,’’ said Alhan. ‘’He said that there was no procedure to follow when endorsing the cabinet ministers.’’

The opposition MPs disagreed and the sitting was concluded.

The Supreme Court ruled last Thursday that while article 171(i) of the parliament’s rules of procedure does not contradict with constitution, it cannot be used in endorsing cabinet ministers.

Attorney General Dr Amhed Ali Sawad said the ruling “clearly establishes that even if the Majlis does something outside its stated precinct in the constitution, such an act will be ultra vires (beyond its powers)”.

“In terms of legal precedent it has established a Supreme Court endorsement of separation of powers theory in the constitution, and identifies the separate legal precincts of the executive, legislature and judiciary,” he added.

However he noted that the Supreme Court decision left it open to the parties to resolve the deadlock – which currently shows no sign of happening.

Opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Ahmed Nihan claimed that “once again MDP MPs deliberately forced the speaker to cancel the parliament after making disruptive remarks.’’

Nihan claimed that MDP wanted to “use their power inside the parliament rather than following the rules of procedure.”

‘’If the parliament sitting is to  proceeded, than the ruling party must keep aside their stubbornness and let the sittings proceed according to the rules of procedure,’’ Nihan said.

Niahan said DRP parliamentarians have decided not to endorse ministers  “including Foreign minister Dr Ahmed Shaheed and Defence minister Ameen Faisal, for they have conducted actions against the constitution.”

He also said that DRP’s planned protests will be ongoing and it were delayed out of consideration for students’ exams.


Ministers who applauded criticism of government should resign immediately: Reeko Moosa

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) parliamentary group leader Moosa ‘ReeKo’ Manik called on any ministers who applauded when the government was criticised to resign immediately.

His condemnation was likely meant for those ministers present at the GIP rally led by Vice President DR Mohamed Waheed Hassan on Saturday.

Moosa said that cabinet ministers had a responsibility to assist President Mohamed Nasheed’s work.

“If they think their responsibility is to applaud whenever someone criticises the government they should resign immediately,” Moosa said.

He said that government’s senior posts “should be filled only with people who support the MDP manifesto and accept the President’s thinking.”

”When someone starts criticising the government, even if it is the Vice President, it is a must for MDP to criticise him,” Moosa claimed.

”Everyday early morning we drape the national flag on our body and are ready to make essential laws for the country,” he claimed.

Press secretary for the President, Mohamed Zuhair said that President Nasheed would respect the words of MDP and Reeko Moosa.

”If the national congress of MDP says that it is their decision [to dismiss any cabinet minister], President Nasheed would have to do it,” Zuhair said.

He said that the Vice President’s acts were politically motivated.

”His aim is to promote himself and his party outside of the government,” Zuhair said. ”The new regulations says that any political party which does not have a minimum 3000 members will be disbanded.”

Zuhair said the Vice President’s party contains nearly 3000 members and that the VP was intending to increase the number of members by gaining support.