Committee, over lack of quorum, says cabinet approval can be done after holidays

Chairperson of the Parliament’s Government Oversight Committee, West Maafannu MP Mohamed Falah. (Photo/People's Majlis)

Chairperson of the Parliament’s Government Oversight Committee, West Maafannu MP Mohamed Falah, citing many lawmakers are out of town at the moment resulting in failure to meet the committee’s quorum, states approval for the new administration’s cabinet can only be granted after the holidays, based on how they have fulfilled their responsibilities.

The committee’s report pertaining to the approval of the cabinet was slated for last week’s Monday’s sitting. However, Speaker Mohamed Aslam sent back the report to the committee citing the mandates of the ministries were incomplete.

No meetings of the committee have been held since the report was sent back.

MP Falah, the committee’s chair, told Sun on Tuesday that many lawmakers were out of Male’ at the moment in light of the school holidays subsequent to which the quorum to hold a committee meeting cannot be met.

“When deciding on a matter of such significance, there should more members. This is a not a matter which can be decided by three people or four people,” he said.

MP Falah said lawmakers representing the government had not attended the committee meeting slated for the purpose.

“Will convene the committee when quorum is met. Can only ask for a vote when there are six members. At the moment, this much (members) are also not there. I think this can only be done after the holidays,” he stressed.

At last week’s Monday’s sitting, Thulhaadhoo MP Hisan Hussain took a point of order during which she pointed out that the committee’s report on granting approval to the cabinet was incomplete citing the absence of mandates.

Speaker Aslam, after discussions with the majority and minority leader, decided to send back the report to the committee.

Subsequently, the Attorney General has expressed concern citing approval of the cabinet and approval of ministries’ mandates have been carried our separately before, with the former being done first.

Meanwhile, some lawmakers representing majority MDP say they will not grant approval to some cabinet members.

However, the ongoing third session of the parliament has been extended to Thursday, as the cabinet approval remains pending.