MDA concerned over delay in Parliament backing for new Cabinet

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu meets MDA's President Ahmed Siyam Mohamed on December 20, 2023. (Photo/President's Office)

Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) has expressed concern over the delay in a decision on parliamentary approval for President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu’s 22-member Cabinet, which has remained stymied at the committee stage for weeks.

President Muizzu made a formal request for the approval of his Cabinet on November 20, two days after the new administration took office.

In a statement on Wednesday, MDA stressed that the Parliament is required by law to make a decision on granting approval to Cabinet ministers.

The party, led by Meedhoo MP Ahmed Siyam Mohamed, said it was deeply concerned by the Parliament’s delay in making a decision.

MDA said that Cabinet ministers are charged with the responsibility of advising and assisting the President in formulating policies for the functioning of the state, and in executing said policies.

The party said that the results of the recent presidential election prove that “a great majority of the Maldivian people support President Muizzu and his team.”

MDA said that the branches of the state must not move against the will of the people.

MDA said it has asked the Parliament Speaker Mohamed Aslam to have the Cabinet approval vote taken before the end of the current parliamentary session.

The concern comes a day after Mohamed Falah, the chair of the Parliament’s Government Oversight Committee, said that many of the parliamentarians were out of Male’ for the school holidays, and that the committee did not have the quorum to review the request for Cabinet approval.

He said the committee will not be able to finish its work until after the holidays.

On December 10th, the committee decided that all 22 members of the new Cabinet meet the requirements stipulated on the constitution.

But the committee also decided that the vote for approval must be conducted separately, for each minister.

The Parliament had been scheduled to vote on the Cabinet last Monday, but the report was sent back to the committee, after Thulhaadhoo MP Hisan Hussain said it was incomplete.

The Parliament's Speaker Mohamed Aslam had agreed with Hisan that the report did not meet criteria stipulated on Article 200 (d) of the Parliament's Standing Orders.

The committee has not bee able to hold a meeting, since then.

While some MDP parliamentarians – who hold a majority in the Parliament – have previously called against backing some of the ministers, the party has made no official decision in the matter.