Opposition draws ire over pres parliament address snub

Main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) drew criticism over the decision to boycott president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's address to reconvene the parliament for this year with former MDP chairperson describing the move as opposition lawmakers being "happy" with government policies.

The deputy parliament speaker Moosa Manik speaking on private television station Sangu TV on Monday evening, described president Yameen's address "free of political statements", directly related to the people which must be analyzed by the opposition.

"In the past, we've seen presidents heavily criticism the opposition during the parliament address. But this time it was different. It shows how much the government has put the nation's and people's interests first," the Hulhu-Henveiru lawmaker said.

The president's address is designed to publicly announce what the government has achieved and plans to set in motion in future, Manik insisted adding that the opposition must review it and respond.

"Even the law mandates the opposition to respond to the president's address. But in truth that response is not for the president. It is something the opposition, funded by the state, representing the people must do for the public. But MDP has failed to do even that for the past four years," Manik said.