President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s faction of the divided ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) has taken control of the parliament’s Economic Affairs Committee and Finance Committee.
President Yameen’s faction took control over the two key committees in the wake of the government proposing the State Budget 2017 to the parliament. The two committees are in charge of reviewing the budget.
Mihaaru understands that a number of PPM members holding seats on the two committees have been replaced with new members. The expelled members include those loyal to PPM leader and former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s faction of PPM as well as lawmakers that have repeatedly violated PPM’s whip line.
The members removed include Thinadhoo North MP Saudullah Hilmy, Eydhafushi MP Ahmed Saleem and Maduvvari MP Mohamed Ameeth Ahmed. Of the lawmakers, MP Ahmed Saleem has recently changed loyalty from Maumoon’s faction to President Yameen’s side.
According to the information gained from the parliament’s administration, the new members on the two committees are top officials of President Yameen’s faction. The two committees boast a majority of government aligned members with seven PPM members on the Finance Committee and five on the Economic Committee.
Despite several lawmakers of the divided PPM joining its leader Maumoon’s faction, the majority of the parliament still lies with President Yameen’s government with 49 members. Meanwhile opposing the government are 36 members with main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s 22 members, Jumhooree Party’s seven members, former president Maumoon’s faction’s five members, religiously conservative Adhaalath Party’s Makunudhoo MP Anara Ibrahim, and Galolhu South MP Ahmed Mahloof.