Parliament sitting cut short amid yelling, cursing

Vilufushi MP Hassan Afeef. (Photo/People's Majlis)

The Parliament was forced to cut short its sitting on Wednesday, due to constant disruptions by MPs from the opposition PPM-PNC coalition, and the MPs who recently defected from the ruling MDP to form The Democrats.

The sitting, during which the Parliament was scheduled to discuss the reappointment of committees, was presided over by Vilufushi MP Hassan Afeef. Both Speaker Mohamed Nasheed and Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla have recused themselves in face of no-confidence motions.

As soon as the sitting began, Central Henveiru MP Ali Azim raised a point of order and said the agenda was set in violation of regulations. He was given multiple chances to present his point of order, but continued to verbally attack pro-government MPs.

He also obstructed Maduvvari MP Adam Shareef Umar when he attempted to present an emergency motion, by grabbing hold of his mic and speaking into it himself.

Pro-government and opposition MPs argued and exchanged insults in the background.

Naifaru MP Ahmed Shiyam and Faresmaathodaa MP Hussain Mohamed Latheef protested that the PPM leader, former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom didn’t have a free and fair trial and demanded his immediate release.

Meanwhile, West Henveiru MP Hassan Latheef protested a motion by MDP to change the composition of committees so the party dominates all committees.

MDP controls 64 percent of the Parliament. It has proposed changing the composition of all committees to reflect that.

“Why is it that when MPs are elected to committees, it is based on the party representation of the entire Parliament? All committees are given the same percentage? What is this,” he protested.

Kudahuvadhoo MP Ahmed Amir took a point of order and suggested adjourning the sitting for discussion between political parties.

Afeef adjourned the sitting in accordance with the suggestion.