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Parliament breaks for recess after record number of sittings

Lawmakers went on holiday after passing a new fisheries law.



Parliament broke for a month-long recess on Thursday after holding a record number of sittings since the 19th People’s Majlis was sworn in on May 28.

Lawmakers went on holiday after passing a comprehensive new fisheries law and confirming the president’s nominee for the central bank governor. The recess was postponed by a week to pass the bill and approve the first female justices to the Supreme Court.

A record 47 sittings were held during the first session from May 28 to September 5. Oversight committees held 466 meetings that lasted more than 548 hours. Of 31 bills submitted during the session, 14 were passed and 17 remain in committee stage. Nine non-binding resolutions were passed and 12 resolutions are under review by committee. Ministers were summoned for questioning 14 times.

Briefing the press on Thursday, Speaker Mohamed Nasheed said he would give a B plus for the first session. Sittings could not be held for two weeks due to Eid holidays, the former president noted. There were also delays in submitting government-sponsored legislation, he added.

Nasheed praised the work of Majlis secretariat staff, most of whom he said put in long hours and often worked until 11pm.

The security services oversight committee will continue to meet during the recess, he noted.

The legislative agenda for the next session due to begin in October includes amendments to the decentralisation law, setting a minimum wage and introducing a personal income tax.