Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed, on Monday, announced the names of five parliament members to act as the chair of parliament in cases where the speaker and deputy speaker are unavailable.
The five members are former Minister of Home Affairs and Vilufushi MP hailing from Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Hassan Afeef, MDP's Maradhoo MP Ibrahim Shareef, Maldives Development Alliance (MDA)'s leader and Meedhoo MP Ahmed Siyam, MDP's Hithadhoo North MP Mohamed Aslam, and Jumooree Party (JP)'s leader and Maamigiili MP Qasim Ibrahim.
According to parliament rules, those chosen for the position of chair must have the most experience in the parliament. Any of these members may oversee the parliament for three consecutive sessions only.
The order of priority is given based on the experience of the five members. If two members have the same amount of experience, the elder will chair the sitting.
Vilufushi MP Hassan Afeef began his parliament career in 1990 representing Kolhumadulu constituency. Afeef has spent a a total of 19 years in parliament.
Ibrahim Shareef secured his first parliament seat in 1990 as the member of Addu constituency. He served as an MP until 1995 and was elected later as Maradhoo MP in 2014.
MDA leader Ahmed Siyam and Mohamed Aslam both secured their first parliament seats in 2005. However, Siyam is the elder of the two.
Qasim Ibrahim has been the MP of Maamigli constituency for four consecutive terms. He also filled the post of parliament speaker for a short time in the 18th parliament.
Afeef stated that he would continue to serve in parliament with consideration granted to all opinions. He requested the members to bring any violations of regulation to his attention while he sits on the chair.
Moreover, Afeef stated that he was ready to shoulder the responsibilities to ensure parliament proceedings were headed in the direction of the public's best interests. He called for the cooperation of the 87 members in parliament.
Shareef expressed that the responsibility and duties that come with being a parliament chair are immense, but assured that he will fulfil his job with integrity. Siyam also assured that he will work with the blessing of the people.