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Absence from parliament will not boost votes: Nasheed

Mohamed Rehan
18 September 2023, MVT 15:13
Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed attends the parliament's opening session this year: The PG Group today passed a resolution to remove him from the post of parliament Speaker -- Photo: Parliament
Mohamed Rehan
18 September 2023, MVT 15:13

Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed has criticised the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) members during Monday's sitting.

Nasheed, who chaired the sitting on September 18, said that the public's votes will not increase while the party's MPs remain absent from the parliament chambers.

The Speaker attempted to convene Monday's session by obtaining the necessary quorum, but several MDP members opted not to attend the chamber, even though they were present on the parliament premises.

On the other hand, MDP's parliamentary members claimed they refused to attend the chamber because of the anti-government resolutions presented for debate instead of prioritizing legislative bills of national interest.

"After setting aside crucial work, they have put anti-government resolutions on agenda. I chose not to attend the chambers because of this," Maradhoo MP Ibrahim Shareef said.

However, Nasheed denied these allegations while acknowledging that he had received complaints. He assured that none of the agenda items were included in violation of parliament regulations.

He also said that the resolutions put on Monday sitting's agenda have been proposed to the parliament earlier, and were pending work.

Nasheed gave the final chance to members to attend the chambers to reach quorum around 1:00 p.m., but failed to convince MDP members to comply.

Nasheed criticized the actions of the ruling party's MPs at Monday's sitting, and said that their behavior has negatively affected the party's popularity leading up to the runoff polls scheduled for September 30.

"I may lack the experience to advise political parties. But I believe they [political parties] would not be able to gain more votes when their MPs are absent from the parliament," Nasheed said.

"Public's support and their love can be achieved if you advocate on their behalf."

According to Nasheed, it would be difficult for political parties to garner votes without attending to their duties.

After dismissing Monday's sitting due to lack of quorum, Nasheed said he will attempt to hold another sitting on Tuesday owing to several crucial pending work.

Nasheed highlighted that the parliament faced its first deadlock due to delays in establishing the standing committees. Legislative proceedings were further disrupted when MDP filed no-confidence motions against both Nasheed and Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla.

The ruling party members' refusal to attend Monday's sitting was viewed as yet another attempt by MDP to interrupt the parliament's proceedings.

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