Parliament sittings to resume with key motions on agenda

Parliament is set to resume sittings on Sunday with two key motions tabled on its agenda, deputy speaker Moosa Manik announced Thursday.

Manik told local reporters on Thursday said the no-confidence motion filed against the speaker Abdulla Maseeh should not hinder parliament sittings, adding that the opposition parties have been requesting the parliament to end the long hiatus on sittings.

"As most lawmakers have been requesting to resume sittings, I met with the speaker and told him that I want to hold sittings if he had no objection to it," the Hulhu-Henveiru lawmaker explained.

Manik also noted that the parliament must facilitate president elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and the new government to assume office as smoothly as possible.

He added that the recent motion filed by the opposition to free jailed former president Mohamed Nasheed had been tabled on the agenda for Sunday while a motion filed by himself to decide on bringing forward the swearing in of Solih from November 17 to November 11 had also been included in Sunday's agenda.

The parliament has only managed to hold just over a dozen sittings so far this year as it has been dogged by boycotts and clashes with security forces.

Opposition lawmakers have not attended a single sitting this year in protest after the parliament annulled a no confidence motion against Speaker Abdulla Maseeh. The ruling party had disqualified as many as a dozen government lawmakers who backed the opposition led move which ultimately killed the motion against the speaker.

However, the country's apex court had overturned the disqualifications of four lawmakers earlier this month saying that they had resigned from the party months before its anti-defection ruling and could not be applied in retrospect by the Elections Commission.

The victory on the long drawn disqualifications could set the precedent for the remaining eight lawmakers who had also been unseated over the contentious anti-defection ruling.

The verdict came following the opposition alliance's resounding victory in last month's presidential elections.