Amid COVID-19 spread, Maldives Parliament to go virtual from March 30

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Amid the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the Maldives Parliament on Saturday decided to move its session online from March 30 (Monday) and will continue to meet via video conference till the health emergency is lifted. The rehearsals for the same were done on Saturday in which the Speaker of the House, Mohamed Nasheed, participated. The Maldives has so far recorded 16 positive cases.

Speaking from Male, Nasheed said, “One-quarter of humanity, including countless lawmakers, is under de facto house arrest or some other form of isolation. But the parliaments of worldwide cannot just stop representing their people during this crisis. The institutions of democracy must continue to function. The Maldivian Parliament will go on, meeting online, and all its work will continue unimpeded.”

He explained that the “crisis will change the world order; how we live; and how we produce and consume goods and services”. Nasheed also said that his country “has always managed to overcome challenges, no matter how big,” adding that he is “confident of emerging from this one, and prosper once more”.

The Director of Media and Communications of the Maldives Parliament, Hassan Ziyau elaborating further said, “Despite members not being physically present in the parliamentary chambers, the work of the parliament will continue as normal, with all parliamentary functions, such as votes, debates, and committee meetings, taking place online.”

Globally the shift is coming for meeting happening virtually. Earlier this week, leaders of the 20 biggest economies–the G20, meet virtually and discussed a joint strategy to meet with the coronavirus crisis. Before that PM Narendra Modi had proposed a SAARC summit to deal COVID-19 crisis.

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