Nasheed: Parliament sessions to be held with preventive measures

Speaker of Parliament, former President Mohamed Nasheed. (Photo/People's Majlis)

Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed has said that there are no excuses to conduct parliamentary sessions where the safety measures taken in light of the situation with Covid-19 is fully implemented across the country.

The parliamentary group leaders met today to discuss how to conduct further sessions of the parliament. Nasheed began the session by noting that there are important decisions existed that needed to be finalized. Nasheed noted the general acts regulation set to expire this month and the postponement of the local council elections as examples of this.

“We owe the Maldivian public the responsibility to hold the government accountable regarding the measures being undertaken for the Covid-19 virus. The work has to be proceeded by the parliament,” said Nasheed.

There were instances of differences among MPs over how the parliamentary sessions are to be conducted. Deputy speaker and MP for North Galolhu, Eva Abdulla noted that challenges were faced from the legal deadlines for her to support parliamentary sessions to be conducted with social distancing.

She noted that the public was still not aware of the gravity and seriousness of the situation and pointed out that the public forgot about social distancing and the severity of the virus as soon as the curfew hours implemented in the country recently were lifted.

Kendhikulhudhoo MP Ahmed Easa said, “ We can make arrangements in Dharubaaruge if the current location cannot accommodate all of us (MPs) with social distancing”. He added that did not agree to put the parliament on hold since no one could fully predict when the situation with the virus will finally be over.

Addu Meedhoo MP Rozaina Adam, stated that considering the current situation, she would advocate for sessions to be conducted via video call. She added that the move by parliament to hold sessions may confuse the public over the severity of the virus.