Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Parliamentary Group Deputy Leader Ahmed Sameer has said that Parliament Speaker Abdulla Shahid has been cancelling parliament sessions without reasonable cause.
“There is no reason the parliament sitting should be cancelled and there is no issue within the MPs that should be solved diplomatically,” Sameer told MDP’s official website.
Sameer said that the opposition was cancelling the parliament sittings because the Foreign Minister had earlier said that former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom will not be invited to the upcoming SAARC summit.
“And, the opposition MPs want to obstruct the speech by Indian Prime Minister,” he said, adding that the opposition’s main objective is to delay economic reform bills currently before parliament.
Sameer called on the Speaker to conduct parliament sittings according to law.
Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) MPs have recently said that the parliament sittings will be unlawful if they proceed with Independent MP Abdul Hameed after the Criminal Court found him guilty of corruption and sentenced him to 18 months’ banishment.
However, Hameed appealed the case in the High Court where it is currently being tried.
PPM has said it will not allow parliament to proceed in his presence.
Opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) Parliamentary Group Deputy Leader Dr Abdulla Mausoom said he believes the parliament deadlock could be solved if the issue were sent to the Supreme Court for review.
“DRP MPs in the Independent Commission’s Committee support sending the issue to the Supreme Court for advice on whether the MP Abdul Hameed can sit in the parliament,’’ Mausoom said. “In DRP there are people who say that he can attend the parliament until he is done with the appeal process and others who do not see it that way.”
Mausoom called the stalemate a legal issue which is beyond the parliament’s jurisdiction.
“The complications in the appeal procedure should be clarified, no one made it an issue when Hameed stayed at home,” he said. “Parliament went smoothly when he stayed at home.”
Mausoom added that MDP MPs in the committee do not want to send the issue to the Supreme Court for advice.
Tomorrow’s sitting is scheduled to proceed as normal, according to parliament’s official website.