Parliament schedules additional sittings

Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed on Monday stated that the parliament has scheduled additional sittings for Mondays and Thursdays over the next two weeks, in order to work on the bills proposed by the government and other pending work.

The parliament currently convenes thrice a week.

Beginning Monday's session, Nasheed said the parliament is currently working on three bills and two resolutions, in addition to two reports submitted by parliament committees. Six bills have also been submitted by the government for their initial reading, said Nasheed.

Therefore, additional sittings have been scheduled for Monday and Thursday for this week and the following week.

"For the next two weeks, the work load on the Parliament is heavy. My aim is to finish up the six bills proposed by the government and send them for ratification within these two weeks", Nasheed said.

The Parliament regulations state that regular sittings will be held on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday every week. If an urgent need arises, the Parliament can hold more sessions. However, since the 19th Parliament came in to effect, the regulations have been temporarily put on hold due to the Parliament amending the regulations.

While Speaker Nasheed stated that the state submitted six bills for ratification, the President's Office revealed on Monday that the government has submitted more than six bills to the Parliament, including a bill to reconstitute Child Rights Protection Act, a bill on Juvenile Justice and bill on pesticide use in agriculture.

Bills amending changes that were brought to some pieces of legislation by the former government have also been submitted to the Parliament, including amendments to the Presidential Elections Act and the Privileges and Protections for Former Presidents Act. Additionally, amendments have been proposed to the Prosecutor Generals’ Act, Audit Act, Civil Service Act, Anti-Corruption Commission Act, Elections Commission Act and Human Rights Commission Act.