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Deputy Speaker Eva chairs parliament, second woman to do so

Raif Amyl Jalyl
11 June 2019, MVT 19:07
Deputy Speaker of Parliament Eva Abdulla chairing Parliament sitting on Tuesday. PHOTO: MIHAARU.
Raif Amyl Jalyl
11 June 2019, MVT 19:07

As Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Galolhu North MP Eva Abdulla led Tuesday's parliament session, becoming the second woman in Maldivian history to do so.

Eva was elected as Deputy Speaker for the state's founding lawmaking power with the unanimous vote of 76 parliamentarians. She is the second woman to hold the post in Maldives.

Further, she was successfully elected for her third consecutive term as the parliamentarian for the Galolhu North constituency and is set to serve a further five-year term.

Eva chaired the parliamentary session for approximately 30 minutes, before handing over the session to Speaker of Parliament and former President Mohamed Nasheed.

Under the terms of the constitution of the second republic in 1968 as well as 1998's constitution, the Speaker of Parliament is appointed by the President, afforded rights and privileges equivalent to that of a cabinet minister.

With the implementation of the current constitution drafted in August 2008, the Parliament at the time was changed to an interim Parliament and new Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Parliament were elected.

During the 16th sitting of the Parliament, Deputy Speaker Aneesa Ahmed became the first elected female lawmaker to chair the Parliament.

Prior to this, Fathimath Ibrahim Didi had chaired the Parliament Senate from December 1952 to August 1953, under the regulations of Upper House and Lower House.

Aneesa served as Deputy Speaker from August 2008 to May 2009. She was elected to her post through a secret vote by then-MPs.

Following the recently held parliamentary elections, Nasheed also rose further as a historic figure, becoming the only former President to act in the capacity of Parliament Speaker. He is also the first lawmaker to be elected after having served as President.

Former Presidents - Mohamed Amin Didi, Ibrahim Nasir, Mohamed Waheed, Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom - had all served as parliamentarians before being elected to the highest office.

Incumbent President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih had also served 25 years as MP in the legislative chambers, one of the longest career-lawmakers in the country.

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