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Parliament postpones sitting due to lack of quorum

Shaina Abdulla
09 July 2018, MVT 12:18
View of the entrance to Maldives Parliament, People's Majlis.
Shaina Abdulla
09 July 2018, MVT 12:18

Parliament, on Monday, has postponed its morning sitting to due to lack of quorum.

Article 86 of the Constitution states that the presence of at least 25 percent of the members, shall constitute a quorum of the parliament. Currently this quorum amounts to 21 out of total 85 parliamentarians.

The appointment of the new Secretary General for the Parliament was set in the agenda, along with the preliminary debate on pro-government proposed amendment to the Prisons and Parole Act.

Parliament Speaker Abdulla Maseeh had attempted to achieve quorum and hold the parliamentary sitting for over 30 minutes. All present lawmakers were of ruling coalition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) .

Opposition MPs have been boycotting sittings since the second term commenced, asserting their refusal to recognise Maseeh as the lawful speaker of the parliament. Hence the parliament have recently failed repeatedly to meet the quorum of half its membership, needed to vote on bills that require compliance by the public.

Hence, last week Maseeh sought to allow voting on "crucial matters" if the parliament met the general quorum of twenty-five percent of members stated in Article 86 of the Constitution and Article 37 (a) of the parliamentary regulations. His proposal was passed unanimously by the 31 lawmakers of the ruling coalition that were present at that sitting.

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