President Abdulla Yameen will commence the inaugural session of the parliament for the year 2018 with his Presidential Address on February 5.
Similar to the last two years, this year’s session will also be held in the convention center Dharubaaruge in capital Male, with the Presidential Address as the only item on agenda.
In his address, the president will elaborate on his policies for the year 2018
According to Subject 84 of the Constitution, the Presidential Address should emphasize the current national state and steps necessary to advance it.
This year’s session will commence while the Elections Commission has announced that 12 members of parliament have lost their seats. The commission is yet to announce the dates for the by-elections, hence this year’s initial sittings will be held without the representation of the 12 constituencies.
The parliament will be conducted in three sessions with the initial session held from February until April.
Last year’s sessions are marred as unproductive with the least number of sittings held. In the 36 sittings held last year, the most important decisions taken by the parliament include the passing of the MVR 27.9 billion state budget, passing of the 2017 supplementary budget of MVR 463 million, giving the go ahead for the Free Trade Agreement between China and the Maldives, and passing to increase the salary of the members of the National Integrity Commission.
The parliament’s last two sessions were held amidst loud protests of the opposition parliamentarians. Delay in scheduling a no confidence motion against the parliament speaker had triggered loud protests from opposition lawmakers inside the chambers daily. Hence, when the third session of the parliament began, a high wooden fence was assembled in front of the speaker’s chair blocking the MPs from reaching the area for protests, but with no avail the protests continued.
The censure motion against the speaker was quashed when the Elections Commission declared that some of the MPs, who signed the resolution seeking the motion, had lost their seats. The parliament annulled the motion after EC declared that the MPs had been disqualified, as the number of signatures on the resolution was less than the required amount of 42 to impeach the speaker.
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Source URL: Mihaaru-News