Following the resignation of Housing Minister Athifa Shakoor, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has decided to integrate the Housing Ministry into the Ministry of National Planning and Infrastructure. The new Ministry will be taking over all matters handled by the Housing ministry and will be called the Ministry of national Planning, Housing and infrastructure.
Minister Athifa who resigned citing medical causes, was facing immense pressure from the parliament after Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed brought her into limelight following public outrage over the delay in handing over the social housing units built by the previous administration.
The political climate within the country is speculated to shift with this move as the Housing Ministry was a slot given to the government coalition partner MRM led by former President Uz Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. The integration of the housing ministry into the Planning Ministry means that 2 slots reserved for the government coalition partners are now being occupied by ruling party MDP, strengthening their hold over the government. Both the MRM and the Sheikh Imran Abdullah’s Adhaalath Party has lost a seat in the cabinet to ruling MDP.
Just weeks ago MRM’s Fisheries Minister Zaha Waheed was also subjected to pressure by the parliament with some MP’s calling for a vote of no-confidence on her for failure to implement key fisheries policies pledged by the government during their election. Tension between the government coalition partners are at an all-time high following allegations of corruption amongst Ministers and MPs by several factions amongst the ruling coalition parties.