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MDP, The Democrats decide to boycott Presidential Address

President Dr Mohamed Muizzu is scheduled to deliver his first Presidential Address at the parliament at 09:00 hrs this morning. However, opposition parties MDP and The Democrats announced last night that they plan to boycott the event.

Mariyath Mohamed
05 February 2024, MVT 06:41
Velana International Airport inauguration
Mariyath Mohamed
05 February 2024, MVT 06:41

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and The Democrats have announced their decision to boycott today's parliamentary sitting where President Dr Mohamed Muizzu is scheduled to deliver his first Presidential Address.

In a statement released on Sunday night, MDP explained the reasoning behind their decision to boycott.

Firstly, President Dr Muizzu had revoked the historical practice of declaring the Majlis inauguration day as a public holiday. The party described the action as disrespectful towards, and undermining of, the Legislative branch of the State.

On the day of the cabinet approval vote, in an attempt to exert undue influence on and obstruct the work of the Parliament, general members and supporters of the party, accompanied by senior officials of the Government, had been led to gather and demonstrate outside the Parliament, the statement reads. During this protest, rocks, bottles and other projectiles had been thrown at the parliament premises. Parliamentarians had also received threats and attacks on the day.

MDP claims that in failing to affect a stop to these actions, the Government had contributed towards creating fear and distress amongst the citizens. The party also believed that through these actions, it appears the Government is acting to undermine the powers Constitutionally granted to the Parliament, as well as encroach upon parliamentary privileges.

As such, MDP has decided to boycott today's Presidential Address through a peaceful protest of non-participation to condemn these events, and a government they claim is exceedingly distant from democratic principles.

The Democrats, meanwhile, condemned the fact that three cabinet members who were denied parliamentary approval have been invited, reportedly in their official capacities, to attend the parliament sitting where the Presidential Address will be delivered.

The party said their Parliamentary Group believes the extension of invitations to these three cabinet ministers is in contravention of the Constitution.

The Democrats maintained that the party would not legitimize or offer cooperation to what they described as such acts of the government which are in violation of the Constitution and laws.

President Dr Mohamed Muizzu is scheduled to deliver his first presidential address this morning at 09:00 hrs, at the first official parliament meeting of 2024.

The Constitution stipulates that at the beginning of the first session of each year at the first sitting of the parliament, the President shall address the People’s Majlis on the state of the country, and present proposals for improving the state of the country.

Strategic Communications Minister at the President's Office Ibrahim Khaleel said yesterday that President Dr Mohamed Muizzu's first presidential address will prove to be "the most visionary, inclusive national plan that a leader of the nation has presented in the parliamentary history of the country".

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