Constitutional amendment

Parliament to vote on constitutional amendment bill late Monday

Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed has announced that the parliament will be asked to vote on the proposed transitory provision on the constitution late Monday night.

The local council election that was slated for April 4 was postponed due to the declaration of a public health emergency owing to coronavirus pandemic. The term of the existing councillors will expire in June.

MP of Bilehdhdhoo constituency Ahmed Haleem proposed on behalf of the government to amend the constitution's chapter on decentralisation to extend the term of the incumbent councillors by adding a transitory provision. The bill was based on the Supreme Court's advise on the matter. The parliament's committee of the Whole House approved the proposition on Friday night.

As per the parliament rules, the committee report must be debated and approved within three days after it is forwarded to the parliament floor. A decision can be taken outside the rule only if the parliament’s majority and minority leaders agree on it. In this regard, Parliament’s minority Leader, MP of Eydhafushi constituency Ahmed Saleem representing opposition Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) has informed that he does not agree to agenda the discussion of the report to a date prior to the date stipulated in the parliament rules.

Concluding Saturday’s meeting, Speaker Nasheed said the earliest the meeting can be held is on Monday midnight as per the rule. Thus, the meeting will be held at 2300 hrs on Monday night, announced Nasheed.

The work on extending the term of incumbent councillors was initially delayed due to the difference of opinions among the members of MDP. Ultimately, the Supreme Court’s opinion was sought. The Supreme Court suggested amending the constitution’s article on decentralisation. All the members of MDP agreed to go forward as per the Supreme Court's advise.