Parliament: 22 lawmakers on leave as election nears

Lawmakers pictured during a parliamentary sitting. (Photo/People's Majlis)

A total of 22 parliamentarians are on a leave of absence in today’s parliamentary sitting. 

Parliament Speaker and former President Mohamed Nasheed, announced the attendance at the beginning of today’s sitting. Nasheed said that only 22 MPs were in attendance today. He specified that 22 MPs were on a leave of absence while two MPs were on official visits and three MPs were in quarantine. 

Speaker Nasheed said that out of the 22 MPs on leave, 20 were visiting their constituencies. 

“They are in their constituencies, working,” said Nasheed. 

The Parliament’s General Committee had declared such visits by Parliamentarians to their constituencies as official visits and parliamentarians are required to obtain a document from the legislative body to declare these visits as official and can only depart after being permitted to do so. 

Nasheed specified today, that the most of parliamentarians had departed before the policy of official visits was passed by the committee and only two MPs had departed under the policy. They are Alifushi MP Mohamed Rasheed Hussain, South Kulhudhuffushi MP Jamsheed Mohamed. 

The record number of absentees in the parliament comes in the last sitting of the parliament before the local council elections. The elections, to be held next Saturday, has seen a lot of MPs depart to their constituencies for campaigning purposes.