Jumhooree Party (JP) spokesperson Ahmed Sameer has suggested that the appointment of Mohamed ‘Mundu’ Shareef as the temporary Minister of Youth and Sports is unconstitutional.
Sameer said that Shareef – who also serves as one of two ministers at the President’s Office – cannot be appointed to the position as he “cannot be held accountable to the parliament”.
“According the parliament’s rule of procedure, only the president, vice president, and ministers approved by the parliament can be brought into the parliamentary chamber for questioning, while all other individuals have to be questioned by parliamentary committees,” said Sameer.
Shareef confirmed to Minivan News today that he has been appointed to the post while Mohamed Maleeh Jamal is on vacation.
He denied Sameer’s allegations, saying that he is a sitting member in the cabinet as well as pointing out that he has previously been appointed temporary head of various other ministries including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
After receiving three cabinet posts following its election alliance with the Progressive Party of Maldives, the JP’s split with its coalition partner soon saw the dismissal of transport minister Ameen Ibrahim before Thoriq Ibrahim and Mohamed Saeed left the JP for its former ally.
The JP spokesperson today claimed that Shareef could not be brought to the parliament for questioning as he is not a minister of a government body approved by the parliament, but rather a ministerial level staff member at the President’s Office.
“Even admin staff at the President’s Office are allowed at the cabinet meetings,” said Sameer. “Photographers are allowed into the meetings. It does not mean they are members of the cabinet.”
According to Article 129 of the Constitution, other than the vice president, all members in the cabinet must be approved by the parliament. The People’s Majlis Secretariat confirmed that no parliamentary vote was held regarding Shareef’s appointment.
The Constitution contains no provisions for the temporary appointment of cabinet members.
Yesterday (January 6) saw tourism minister Ahmed Adeeb temporarily appointed as the minister of defense during Colonel (retired) Mohamed Nazim’s absence. Additionally, Minister of Islamic Affairs Dr Mohamed Shaheem has this week been appointed as temporary health minister – a post which has been empty since August.
Spokesperson at the President’s Office Ibrahim Muaz denied yesterday rumors of rifts within the cabinet, telling local media that the temporary appointments were merely arrangements to fill empty posts during ministers’ leave.
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