MPs pass to extend invitation to Bangladesh PM to address at Parliament

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

At an extraordinary sitting of the Parliament held today, MPs have voted for extending an invitation to Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to deliver an address at the Parliament during her upcoming visit to the Maldives.

The extraordinary sitting was held this morning, at 11:00am – of which the only item on agenda was the vote.

The 44 MPs present for the sitting voted to extend an invitation to Prime Minister Hasina to visit the Parliament and deliver an address unanimously.

Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed who was presiding over today’s sitting said cabinet ministers, senior government officials and school students will be invited to the sitting in which the Prime Minister will deliver the address.

Only MPs from ruling party, MDP, and MNP attended today’s extraordinary sitting.

Speaking during the opportunity to debate, MDP’s Parliamentary Group Leader Ali Azim said that Prime Minister Hasina is a leader who has always been loved by the Maldivians, and some they wished to see.

He also strongly criticized the opposition coalition’s ‘India Out’ campaign – also emphasizing concern that a former president, being former President Yameen Abdul Gayyoom, taking part in it.

“He is doing something which will be proven difficult on us normal citizens. That work is being carried out for the purpose of making things difficult,” added.

During the debate, MNP’s Parliamentary Group leader Abdulla Riyaz said that Bangladesh is a country that maintains close ties with both India and China – and also gives zero tolerance for terrorism.

Noting that although diplomatic ties have been established between Maldives and Bangladesh since 1979 – he stressed that it is extremely disheartening for a Bangladeshi Prime Minister to not have been invited to address at the Maldivian Parliament prior to this.

According to Bangladesh’s media ‘The Business Standard’, Prime Minister Hasina will be arriving on a two-day trip to Maldives next Wednesday. The purpose of this trip is to further solidify the ties between Bangladesh and Maldives.