Parliamentarians question the legitimacy of Abdulla Shahid’s cabinet position

Malé, Maldives – Members of the parliament have questioned the legitimacy of Abdulla Shahid’s cabinet position at the parliamentary session today.

The issue was discussed during the debate of the committee report on the Foreign Service Bill.

The MP for Kendhoo Constituency Ali Hussain stated that the individual holding the cabinet position for the Minister of Foreign Affairs must exclusively work in that capacity.

MP Hussain stated that while it is a source of pride for the Maldives for a Maldivian to hold a prestigious position internationally, referring to Abdulla Shahid’s position as the President of the United Nations 76th General Assembly (UNGA), staying on as a cabinet minister goes against the constitution of Maldives.

According to Article 136 of the Maldives Constitution (2008),

  • A member of the Cabinet shall not hold any other public office or office of profit, actively engage in a business or in the practice of any profession, or any other income generating employment, be employed by any person, buy or lease any property belonging to the State, or have a financial interest in any transaction between the State and another party.

Referring to this, MP Hussain stated that Foreign Minister Shahid has financially profited from his position as the UNGA President.

MP for Kaashidhoo Constituency Abdulla Jabir has also stated that the Maldives Foreign Minister must not hold any other positions and questioned the authority of the Maldives Constitution.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid assumed office as the 76th UNGA President on 15 September 2021.