Male’, Maldives – The Minister of Home Affairs, Imran Abdullah says that the no confidence vote motion filed against him by the opposition coalition, Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and People’s National Congress (PNC) is an excuse to pressure him into freeing the jailed opposition leader and former President, Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.
The motion was initiated by the opposition parties, which accounted for a total of nine members within the Parliament. However, the motion was filed with a total of 11 signatures, including two independent members, MP of Thulusdhoo constituency Ibrahim Naseem and MP of Villimale’ constituency, Ahmed Husham.
The stance was taken after Minister Imran came under fire for implying that a woman being groped is a trivial matter when he said that it is something that can happen in a public place, without anyone even knowing, as he spoke on a radio program broadcasted by local radio channel ‘Dhivehi Raajjeyge Adu’.
However, Minister Imran later wrote a long tweet blaming the media, saying that the did not claim that sexual assault is a small issue and that the media had twisted his words.
In addition to this, the no confidence motion also noted that Minister Imran made false accusation regarding the abduction murder of journalist Ahmed Rilwan. This was regarding the documents that connected the opposition leader, Yameen to Rilwans disappearance.
While the first Parliamentary sitting for this motion was held today, before the deliberations began, Minister Imran spoke in his defense and said that this motion is an attempt to weaken the government and take the peace of it by issuing a nonexistent problem that was brought to existence and by exaggerating political issues.
While indicating to the issues that were raised, Minister Imran claimed that he did not say that sexual assault is a “small” issue and that he was indicating that behind the scenes, some political members were making it a bigger issue than it actually was in order to twist the truth.
Minister Imran then assured that the incumbent government does not accept any type of wrongful being done to any women and that all of such incidents will be investigated thoroughly and actions will be taken against the guilty as well.
In the court, Minister Imran again apologized to anyone who was hurt by the words of his that were twisted by local media.
Regarding Rilwans case, Minister Imran stressed that he still has the copy of the real evidences that were used by the then opposition party during their protest on 2015. He repeated his previous statement and said that those documents were taken by the Maldives Police Service when they were taken into custody that day.
While saying that the opposition filed this no confidence motion against him as a way of threatening him to free the former President Yameen, -who is in the jail for 5 years due to money laundering- Miniser Imran said that he will not be an object that is used by the opposition to free a jailed person.
On Sunday, the Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) Parliamentary Group (PG) annouced that they will not support the no confidence motion against Imran and that they will not move to depose Imran. The leader of MDP’s Parliamentary Group, Central Henveiru MP Ali Azim said that it is most likely that the Minister Imran will not be deposed from his position.
To support Minister Imran, the MDP Parliament Members have backed what Minister Imran has said and completely showed their support to the Minister.
The opposition Parliament Members have widely criticized MDP for the support Minister Imran is receiving and said that some of the MDP members who advocate for protecting the rights of women are even defending Minister Imran.
Parliamentary rules state that a motion of no confidence against a Minister requires at least 10 signatures from Members of Parliament, and that the Minister can be only deposed after the majority (43 members) of Parliament votes for deposition. As MDP holds majority in Parliament, it is impossible to pass the no confidence motion of a Minister without support from MDP Parliamentarians.