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The 19th Parliament of Maldives concludes: Curtain close for MDP majority

Aslam stated that a total of 1,461 hours had been spent in 530 sittings since the 19th parliament began its term on May 28, 2019. In addition to this, 3784 meetings had been held by the various parliamentary committees.

Mariyath Mohamed
14 May 2024, MVT 10:56
Majlis emergency sitting
Mariyath Mohamed
14 May 2024, MVT 10:56

May 13, 2024 saw the very final sitting of the 19th Parliament of Maldives, the term of which is set to officially end on May 15.

“It is with joy and pride that I highlight that this parliament is the one that conducted the highest amount of work in the 90 year history of parliaments in the Maldives since it was first established in 1932,” Speaker Mohamed Aslam stated while concluding the last sitting of the 19th People's Majlis on Monday.

Aslam stated that a total of 1,461 hours had been spent in 530 sittings since the parliament began its term on May 28, 2019. In addition to this, 3784 meetings had been held by the various parliamentary committees.

Aslam further stated that important efforts had been undertaken to ensure that the Executive had been held accountable.

He further emphasized that even during the setbacks and challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Parliament had consistently continued their work, finding solutions for many economic and social issues faced by the nation.

Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Aslam

Aslam expressed appreciation for the support provided by Parliament’s Secretary General Fathimath Niusha and Counsel General Fathimath Filza, as well as the entire team at the Secretariat.

In his address, Aslam also called for justice to be served in the case of the terror attack on former Speaker of Parliament, former President Mohamed Nasheed. He voiced his hopes that the upcoming parliament could and would work without fear or favour, stating his concern for the multiple threats and even attacks that Members of the 19th Parliament had faced during their term.

The 19th Parliament at a glance

The 19th Parliament had a total of 87 Members.

Former President Mohamed Nasheed, MP for Central Mahchangolhi constituency, initially served as Speaker of Parliament, with MP for North Galolhu Constituency Eva Abdulla serving as the Deputy Speaker of Parliament.

Eva is the second woman who has served as Deputy Speaker of Parliament in the Maldives.

Former Deputy Speaker of Parliament Eva Abdulla.

Both, at the time of assuming office, were members of Maldivian Democratic Party, which was then the ruling party, as well as holding the majority in parliament.

Later, in August 2023, Nasheed, along with Eva and several other MPs, officially registered a breakaway party from MDP, The Democrats, following differences amongst the leadership in the run up to the Presidential Election.

Here followed a series of attempts to take a no-confidence vote against Nasheed as Speaker, resulting in Nasheed handing in his resignation on November 13, 2023.

Subsequently, a no-confidence motion was raised against Deputy Speaker Eva as well. Ahead of the vote, Eva, too, handed in her resignation, on December 3, 2023.

Since then, till the end of the 19th Parliament, MP for North Hithadhoo constituency Mohamed Aslam has served as Parliament Speaker, with MP for Hoarafushi constituency Ahmed Saleem serving as Deputy Speaker. Both the Speaker and Deputy Speaker are from MDP.

MDP holds the Majority in parliament, with MP for Alifushi constituency Mohamed Rasheed Hussain serving as Majority Leader.

Minority Leader, Moosa Siraj, is the MP for Fonadhoo constituency and represents now ruling People’s National Congress (PNC)

MP Moosa Siraj

At the end of the term, the Parliament’s composition was as follows:

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP): 42

People’s National Congress (PNC): 16

The Democrats: 13

Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM): 2

Jumhoori Party (JP) : 2

Maldives Development Alliance (MDA): 2

Independent: 3

Former MPs of the 19th Parliament

Members of Parliament who served in the 19th People’s Majlis before resigning to assume posts in the new administration are:

Defence Minister Ghassan Maumoon, who previously served as MP for Guraidhoo constituency in the 19th Parliament.

Vice President Hussain Mohamed Latheef – former MP for Faresmaathodaa

Attorney General Ahmed Usham – former MP for Villimale’

Minister of Cities, Local Government and Public Works Adam Shareef Umar – former MP for Maduvvari

Minister of Fisheries and Ocean Resources Ahmed Shiyam – former MP for Naifaru

Minister of Defence Mohamed Ghassan Maumoon – former MP for Guraidhoo

Minister of Economic Development and Trade Mohamed Saeed – former MP for Maavashu

Managing Director of HDC Ibrahim Fazul Rasheed – former MP for Felidhoo

Former Speaker Nasheed moved to Ghana in January 2024 to take up the position of Secretary General of the Climate Vulnerable Forum. He sent a letter to the Speaker of Parliament in April this year, stating his wish to relinquish his MP’s salary from then till the end of the term.

Former Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed

MP for Kashidhoo constituency Abdulla Jabir also handed in his resignation earlier this month, according to his lawyer. However, the Parliament Secretariat has said that they did not receive any such document.

MP for Guraidhoo Constituency Ibrahim Riza passed away in February, 2023.

MP for Komandoo Constituency Hussain Waheed passed away from cancer in December, 2021.

19th Parliament in numbers

Last sitting of 19th Parliament

During its five year term, the 19th Parliament completed:

- 178 bills that were proposed to parliament

- 73 resolutions

- 152 motions submitted by the Executive

- 104 motions submitted by the Speaker and Deputy Speaker

- 108 emergency motions

- 48 motions submitted by MPs

- 45 reports

- 384 questions posed on pertinent matters to Cabinet Ministers

Major bills passed during the 19th Parliament

- Bill on Presidential Commissions

- Whistleblower Protection Bill

- Transitional Justice Bill

- Foreign Service Bill

- Police Service Bill

- Juvenile Justice Bill

- Legal Profession Bill

- Companies Bill

- Industrial Relations Bill

- Occupational Safety and Health Bill

- Food Safety Bill

New Majlis, New Composition

PNC Campaign poster for the recent Parliamentary Election

The 20th Parliament will have a total of 93 Members of Parliament.

Although MDP held majority in the 19th Parliament, while also being in the Executive at the time of the parliamentary election in 2019, this year’s election presented an unexpected paradigm shift.

The 20th Parliament sees ruling PNC holding a supermajority, with MDP managing to win a mere 12 seats despite contesting in 89 constituencies.

PNC, which alone won 66 seats, later saw 7 of the independent candidates who won the elections signing up for the party in the interim period between elections and oath taking of the new members.

Affiliated MPs of PNC, like JP’s one member, MNP’s one member, and MDA’s two members, are also working alongside PNC.

As such, the ruling party is 77 seats strong for the upcoming parliamentary term, granting them an overwhelming majority in the Legislative.

The Democrats, meanwhile, ran for 39 seats, and yet, did not manage to secure a single seat. Adhaalath Party also failed to win any seats.

Newly elected Members of the 20th Parliament are scheduled to take oath of office on May 28, 2024.

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