The Edition


Parliament, Executive in dispute over drafting bills

Aman Sameer
10 October 2019, MVT 11:51
Former President and incumbent Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed during the MDP Parliamentary Primary Elections campaign. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED / MIHAARU
Aman Sameer
10 October 2019, MVT 11:51

Disputes have emerged between the Executive and Parliament over the process of drafting bills that are passed into law.

Exchanges between the government and parliament began after the Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed. made some remarks during the parliament's sitting on Tuesday. Nasheed started the session by entailing statistics of the number of bills being proposed to the floor and went on to state that the bills to be proposed by the government and by Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) are one and the same.

Traditionally, the parliament debates bills drafted by individual members, parties and the government.

Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment Ahmed Mahloof, a former MP himself, expressed his dismay over the parliament's actions, quoting that the bills relevant to the government's agenda should be drafted by the Attorney General's Office as they have in the past. Following his remarks, Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath, on Wednesday, tweeted similar remarks.

While Agenda 19, the legislative agenda of the ruling party MDP, contains similar elements to those promised by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih during his campaign, the executive and the parliament still operate independent to each other. Government ministers overseeing the drafting of bills according to the legislative agenda recently found that parliamentary committees, comprising mainly of ruling party MPs, have taken up the task of drafting the same bills.

Voicing out his opinion on the matter, Riffath said that bills proposed by the government are a major element through which the administration can ensure that the election promises are met.

MDP secured an overwhelming 67 out of 87 seats in the 19th Parliament. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ran for presidency as a candidate of the party, and won, securing MDP's place as the ruling party during his term in office.

Powers of the executive and those of the parliament are to never interfere with each other in a typical democracy that adheres to the principles of Separation of Powers. The legislative branch, People's Majlis, is responsible for drafting, debating and voting on various bills, which upon ratification by the president becomes law.