No quorum prompts cancellation of parliament sitting

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

Parliament’s sitting on Monday was cancelled as the quorum required to hold the sitting was not met.  

Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed, who opened the third sitting of the third session of the year, said the quorum, as per the parliament’s regulations, was 22 MPs.

With fewer members than 22 in attendance, the sitting was concluded shortly after it began.

Many MPs are presently touring atolls on campaign trips for the upcoming presidential elections slated for September 9th.  Some MPs are direct contestants in the election, as either presidential candidates or running mates. Therewith, many MPs were not in attendance for the two sittings that had been held in the third session prior to this.

Hulhudhoo MP Ilyas Labeeb is contesting the election on the presidential ticket of The Democrats. Meanwhile, parliament’s majority leader, North Hithadhoo MP Mohamed Aslam has been chosen as the running mate of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, contesting on main ruling MDP’s ticket. Opposition PPM-PNC coalition’s candidate, Dr. Mohamed Muizzu’s running mate is Faresmaathoda MP Hussain Mohamed Latheef.

All three of the sittings held since the commencement of the ongoing session of the parliament saw no work done.

At the commencement of the first sitting, Speaker Nasheed said the legislative body had not received letters from MPs who joined The Democrats – confirming the change in their party. Therefore, he stressed that the parliament cannot proceed with changes to the composition of the Parliament’s standing committees, as stipulated in the agenda. Names of several MPs were called for disruptive behavior, who refused to leave the chamber and continued their disruptions. Nasheed, therefore, concluded the sitting citing the MPs were not letting him continue.

The second sitting also had the same motion on the agenda, which was also cut short by various obstructions.

The agenda for today’s sitting also included the motion on the standing committees.

Following major disagreements within MDP, MPs who supported Nasheed defected from the party, which resulted in changes to the parliament’s composition during the last session. The standing committees were reconstituted, to reflect the changes, after holding an extraordinary sitting out of session. With MPs supporting Nasheed signing to The Democrats, the new political party they formed, the composition of the parliament has changed once again.

Meanwhile, some MPs who defected MDP to join The Democrats, have rejoined MDP as well.