Govt. to submit bill to decrease number of MPs

Attorney General Ahmed Usham (R) with President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu (L). (Photo/President's Office)

Attorney General Ahmed Usham has announced plans by the government to submit an amendment to the constitution to limit and decrease the number of MPs.

Speaking at a press conference held by the Attorney General’s Office on Thursday to publicize the legislative agenda of the government – AG Usham said the government, so far, has plans to submit a total of 213 bills to the parliament.

The bills, in this regard, are aimed at fulfilling pledges on the government’s manifesto, bringing the changes required to the constitution, resolving issues arising as a result of a lack of a legislature regarding the particular matter, revoking or amending legislations that are currently in force and to enforce international treaties.

“This agenda includes 78 bills that are being newly formulated and 135 bills that pertain to legislatures that need to be amended or revoked,” he detailed.

AG Usham, underscoring the bills include an amendment to the constitution in order to decrease the number of MPs, noted the current constitution, at present, mandates an MP for every 5,000 people.

“As these are matters that require comprehensive consultation with many stakeholders and is also directly linked to the rights of people, I cannot, at the moment, say this is how it will be done,” he added.

Parliamentarians pictured during a sitting. (Photo/People's Majlis)

Henceforth, he said the bill to amend the constitution will be submitted following the discussions.

Bills have been submitted to the parliament on multiple occasions to reduce the number of MPs, as the continued increase in MPs to correspond with the increased population has hiked the expenditure of the legislative body. They were all rejected.

In this regard, The Democrats, during the 19th parliamentary assembly, submitted a bill to amend the constitution to cap the number of MPs at 76, with 55 seats allotted for electoral districts, 11 national list seats, and an additional eight for women and two for people with disabilities.

The 17th parliamentary assembly had 77 MPs, while the 18th assembly and the 19th assembly had 85 and 87 MPs respectively. The ongoing 20th assembly of the parliament has a record 93 MPs. The ruling PNC holds supermajority with 75 seats.