President Decides Government and Security Officials will not attend Oversight Committee Meetings
20 January 2013, Ref: 2013-31

President Dr Mohamed Waheed has decided that members of the Cabinet, officials of the security forces, and senior officials of the government will not attend the People’s Majlis Committee on Oversight of the Government. The President informed of his decision to the Speaker of the People’s Majlis Abdulla Shahid, in a letter sent today.

In his letter, the President said that the decision was made as the Speaker of the Majlis had not been able to guarantee that the matters of the Majlis would be carried out according to the Constitution and the rules of procedure of the Majlis. Moreover, the letter states that the Speaker has also not been able to guarantee that the information disclosed by those attending the People’s Majlis committee would be used as per the Constitution and the regulations of the People’s Majlis. The President has said that the decision would be applied until appropriate steps are taken and a mechanism is arranged for the issue to be addressed.

The President has further stated that, in the pretext of analysing the report of the Commission of National Inquiry (CoNI), the Committee on Oversight of the Government has begun its own investigation of the change of government on February 2012. The letter also stated that even though the committee has the authority to undertake such an investigation and look into the matter, it should be done within the framework of the Constitution and the rules of procedure of the People’s Majlis.

However, the President has noted in his letter, that the Majlis has not yet approved for the committee to investigate the CoNI report. He said that the legal responsibilities of the committees to which the report was sent, would be to carry out the responsibilities of that particular committee, as stated by the regulations of the People’s Majlis, and that the committees are not authorised to take any other action.

The President has expressed his concerns that the duties of the People’s Majlis Committee on Oversight of the Government were not being carried out within the boundaries of their legal authority.

The President has said that publishing the information provided to a confidant and confidential committee, on the People’s Majlis’ website, could disrupt the legal system of the state, violate the individual rights of those who provided information, and also create a situation that could breach national security.

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