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The 20th Parliament will prove to be different: Abdul Raheem

This article is based on excerpts from an exclusive interview that Abdul Raheem Abdulla granted to Nazim Hassan of Mihaaru.

Mariyath Mohamed
23 May 2024, MVT 17:41
Abdulraheem abdulla / Speaker of the Parliament
Mariyath Mohamed
23 May 2024, MVT 17:41

"The joy I feel is not because I am to be leading one of the three powers of the State. The joy is for the trust President Dr [Mohamed] Muizzu continues to place in me."

Abdul Raheem Abdulla, Special Advisor to the President and President's nominee for Speaker of Parliament, expressed these thoughts in an exclusive interview with Mihaaru today.

"This is a height in my political career that I never even dreamed I would achieve. I offer my deepest gratitude to President Muizzu for nominating me for this post."

Abdul Raheem said that his earlier aspiration had been to rise to the post of Atoll Chief. However, today, nominated by the President, and with the backing of all the People's National Congress (PNC) MP-Elects, he stands to be the Speaker of the 20th People's Majlis.

"President Muizzu is a man of his word"

While President Muizzu has demonstrated to all the utmost trust he places in Abdul Raheem by nominating him as Speaker of the legislative, Abdul Raheem himself has absolute confidence in the President.

"Out of all the political leaders that I have worked with, it is President Muizzu who most steadfastly stands by his word," Abdul Raheem asserted.

He said that the fact that the President had nominated him for Speakership is in itself proof of the fact.

Abdul Raheem spoke of the 18th People's Majlis, in which he was a member of parliament as well. He said that then President had nominated him only for the post of Deputy Speaker. Even that, he was not elected for, despite the party he represented holding majority. He alluded that this was due to internal discord.

This time, though, he was unanimously backed by all MP Elects of his party once the President put his name forward.

"It felt like something they all wanted had come to be," Abdul Raheem said, adding that this was due to the close ties he had maintained with them through out the past years of working together.

"The 20th Parliament will prove to be different"

"I can say today with confidence that you will see the 20th People's Majlis is different from those that came before."

Abdul Raheem dismissed any notions that there will be political antics and other disruptions during this term of parliament. He said that no such opportunities will be presented, and assured that the 20th Parliament would stand to gain the trust in the institution that appears to be lost at present.

"The reason I have this confidence is, because we know for a fact that nothing like that will be presented to the parliament by President Muizzu. He will submit to the parliament actions that are beneficial to the nation and its people. To amend the laws where necessary. To enact the laws where needed," he said.

"You would have seen in the past six months the difference between those who held the presidency before and today's President, President Muizzu. He is always striving to fulfil the pledges he made in the presidential election. He always prioritizes the nation and people," Abdul Raheem said with unwavering conviction.

"This is why we are confident this parliament will not be like the one that has just concluded."

"A supermajority like none before"

"'Who' is President is not important to the people. What the people want from a leader they have elected is for their needs to be fulfilled. To fulfil these, the people have given the President an overwhelmingly large majority in parliament as has never been given before to any other leader. So, we assure you that the 20th People's Majlis will offer every cooperation to ensure that the President can go forward with the initiatives for Maldives at the speed he intends to," Abdul Raheem said.

The future Speaker does not believe that they will face major challenges in conducting this work in the upcoming parliament.

"The reason I believe so is, even now, among 93 members, we have 74 members that represent the party. In addition to that, there are about 4 members who work with us. So approximately, we have 78...nearly 80 members," he explained.

All these 78 members share the same political ideology, he said. As a result, he believes the members will work together and present a united front to any minor challenge that they may have to face within the next five years.

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