Parliament sitting cut short with no MP to assume presidency

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

The parliamentary sitting was cut short on Tuesday, with no MP assigned to take over presidency.

Opening the sitting, the Parliament’s secretary-general Fathimath Niusha announced that given the no-confidence motion against Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla, the sitting must be presided by Speaker Mohamed Nasheed.

However, Nasheed had sent a letter to her on Monday, recusing himself from sittings until a decision is made in a similar motion submitted against him.

“I hereby inform honorable MPs that today’s sitting cannot be held until a decision is made regarding who will preside over the sitting,” said Niusha.

Parliamentary regulations dictate that the Speaker must appoint an MP to preside over sittings if both the Speaker and Deputy Speaker are unavailable.

However, an MP wasn’t assigned to fill in for Tuesday’s sitting, during which the Parliament had been scheduled to hear the no-confidence motion against Eva.

The Parliament also had to cut short its sitting on Monday, after pro-government MPs protested against the delay in the no-confidence motion against Eva.

The sitting was presided over by Vilufushi MP Hassan Afeef, who usually steps in when both Nasheed and Eva are unavailable. However, a general MP cannot preside over sittings unless authorized by the Speaker.

According to regulations, the Parliament’s General Purposes Committee should have set the debate time for the motion against Eva.

However, committees have not been reappointed based on the changes to the Parliament’s composition after 13 MPs from MDP, including Eva, left the party last month.