The People’s Majlis’ general affairs committee yesterday rejected an amendment proposed to the parliamentary rules to require a vote ahead of debating bills and resolutions on the floor.
At a press conference on Sunday (August 17), opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Imthiyaz Fahmy revealed that Speaker Abdulla Maseeh Mohamed – a member of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives – had sent a letter to the general affairs committee requesting the revision.
Under the existing rules or standing orders, a resolution submitted to parliament has to be debated on the floor ahead of a vote.
Imthiyaz contended that the move by the majority party – which holds a comfortable majority in the 85-member house – was intended to “silence” the minority.
According to opposition-aligned private broadcaster Raajje TV, Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) MP Ahmed Amir voted in favour of a proposal by Jumhooree Party (JP) MP Ahmed Mubeen to keep the section unchanged.
The proposal was approved despite PPM MPs voting against it after JP and MDP MPs voted in favour. Amir’s was the deciding vote.
The MDA is a coalition partner of the ruling party.
MP Imthiyaz had noted that a resolution he submitted in July calling for a parliamentary debate on a controversial decision by the Judicial Service Commission clearing Supreme Court Justice Ali Hameed of misconduct has yet to be tabled in the agenda by the speaker.
The resolution was submitted after pro-government MPs voted down a motion without notice submitted by the MDP for a parliamentary debate on the issue.