Nasheed criticizes parliamentarians with poor attendance

Jumhooree Party (JP) leader and Maamigili constituency MP, Qasim Ibrahim greeting former President and Speaker of Parliament, Mohamed Nasheed to Maldives | Photo: Mohamed Auzam

Malé, Maldives – Former President and Current Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed has criticized parliamentarians with poor attendance and their supporters for repeatedly re elections of top absentees.

At the Parliamentary sitting held today, Nasheed stated that many citizens have complained that parliamentarians continue to earn their large salaries without attending meetings. Nasheed alleged these parliamentarians have had low attendance throughout their parliamentary careers, however, the people of the constituencies which these parliamentarians represent continue to re-elect them.

“While they are at the bottom of the attendance list in one term, they are re elected for another term. This has led me to believe, their people [citizens of constituencies where parliamentarians with low attendance records] are electing them to not come here.”

Former President and Current Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed

Nasheed had previously spoken about absentees, when last week he stated that it has been a year since the representative of Alif Dhaalu Atoll’s Maamigili constituency, Qasim Ibrahim attended a parliamentary meeting.

This comes after recent social media outrage over parliamentarians continuing to receive very high salaries while not attending meetings. Many parliamentarians who have various external income sources are earning over MVR 74,000 – a considerable wage gap compared to the average Maldivian.

While the Covid stricken economy of Maldives is struggling to stay afloat, parliamentarians who attend meetings once in a blue moon and can very well get by without their Parliament paycheck continue to expand their wealth at a great cost to the state.

A recent report also revealed that four business tycoons turned out as the top absentees among the parliament members in the year 2020. The report named MP for Dhaalu Atoll’s Meedhoo constituency Ahmed Siyam (Sun Siyam), Jumhooree Party leader and representative of Alif Dhaalu Atoll’s Maamigili constituency, Qasim Ibrahim, Hoarafushi MP Ahmed Saleem and MP of Kaashidhoo constituency, Abdullah Jabir as the top absentees of 2020.