Opposition parliamentarians boycott supplementary budget debate

opposition lawmakers on their way to Parliament on Monday

Opposition lawmakers pictured en route to the parliament. PHOTO/MIHAARU

The opposition parliamentarians on Wednesday boycotted the parliamentary debate on the MVR 493 million supplementary budget that was submitted by the state.

Finance Minister Ahmed Munawar on Tuesday submitted a supplementary budget for the last two months of this year as government spending is expected to exceed what was initially estimated.

Soldiers in plain clothes had guarded the minister whilst he spoke over the chants of the opposition MPs who continued their protest during Tuesday’s sitting as well.

However, only the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and its coalition partner Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) parliamentarians were present at the sitting on Wednesday, when the debate on the supplementary budget was scheduled.

Whilst the opposition had not specified the reason for boycotting the parliament session, it had called out against the large sum that was allocated for parliamentary by-elections for the disputed seven constituencies.

The state, in its supplementary budget, had set MVR 26 million for the Elections Commission to hold by-elections for the seven constituencies, which the opposition dubbed to be a “waste of state funds.”

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