MP Hisaan proposes amendments to bills on presidential commissions

Amendments have been proposed on the two bills granting powers to the presidential commissions investigating murders and enforced disappearances, and the commission on state assets recovery.

The amendments were proposed by Thulhaadhoo MP Hisaan Hussain during Monday's parliament sitting.

The bills on the two commissions were re-submitted at the parliament by Alifushi MP Mohamed Rasheed Hussain, the same lawmaker who submitted the bills during the previous parliament.

Speaking during the debate on the bills, MP Hisaan said while the Criminal Procedure Laws grant powers to the commissions, the commission must be given the capacity to utilize the powers granted to them.

While the President has the power to dissolve presidential commissions, the bill should include what should happen to the work done by the commissions in the case that the President decides to dissolve the commissions, said Hisaan.

"I propose to include in the bill in clear terms what should happen to the work carried out by the commissions in the instance that the President decides to dissolve the commissions", said MP Hisaan, also the parliament representative to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

The bill should also state that the evidences, findings and witness statements taken by the commission prior to being dissolved should still be valid and credible, noted Hisaan further. An entity that would take over the tasks of the commission if the commission is dissolved should also be decided and mentioned on the bill, she added.

The government attempted to pass the bills granting sweeping powers to the two presidential commissions over several attempts during the last parliament. However, the vote on the bills could not be taken due to lack of required quorum, which is the attendance of 50% of members.

The bills were then sent back for committee review due to issues with the report published by the committee after researching the bills. Then Speaker of the parliament, Gasim Ibrahim had openly criticized the bills at the time.

Many lawmakers representing the opposition and some partners of the ruling coalition had expressed their concern on the bill during the debate stage at the last parliament, stating that the bill sought to grant powers to commissions that contradicts the Maldivian Constitution. When the bill was sent back to the parliament floor after the initial committee stage, several powers to be granted to the commissions through the bill were removed.