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.