PPM MPs reluctant to approve Dr Shakeela as health minister

Several MPs of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) are not in favour of approving Dr Mariyam Shakeela as health minister in an upcoming vote on parliamentary approval for her nomination, reports CNM.

An unnamed MP told the online news outlet that Majority Leader Ahmed Nihan organised an informal secret ballot at a PPM parliamentary group meeting last Wednesday (July 23).

“Most members were not that positive,” the PPM MP was quoted as saying.

CNM has meanwhile learned that Nihan has communicated the results to the government as well as Shakeela and sought her opinion on the possibility of resigning from the post.

PPM MPs were against approving her to the post because of her handling of several incidents in the health sector during the past few months, CNM claimed.

The President’s Office submitted Shakeela’s name for parliamentary consent earlier this month. She was reappointed to the cabinet after her ministry was renamed Ministry of Health from Ministry of Gender.

The department of gender was meanwhile transferred under the newly-created Ministry of Law and Gender.

The parliament’s government oversight committee narrowly approved the nomination at a meeting last week and forwarded the matter to the People’s Majlis floor for a vote.

As opposition Maldivian Democratic Party MPs and Jumhooree Party MPs voted against recommending the nominee for approval, Chair Riyaz Rasheed cast a tie-breaking vote.

Despite the PPM majority on the key oversight committee, the vote was tied 5-5 after PPM MP Abdul Latheef Mohamed abstained.

The MP for Haa Alif Dhidhoo had joined the ruling party after being elected as an independent.