Malé, Maldives – The Maldives parliament has begun the parliamentary session for the no confidence vote against the Minister of Communication, Science and Technology Mohamed Maleeh Jamaal. The Minister was given the opportunity on his own behalf.
Minister Maleeh maintains that only a few members have signed the motion and the no confidence motion is due to a speech he gave on a TV program and not because he did not implement regulations or the ability to do his job.
“Are you punishing me for completing a job that three previous Ministers could not? The law was passed in 2015; the regulations were supposed to be implemented in the following 3 to 6 months [from the passing of the law]. There is however, nothing written on what should happen if the regulations were not created within that time period. If the [Communication, Science and Technology] Minister is to be held responsible, then why has a no confidence motion that should have been held against Minister Umar Naseer [previous Communications Minister] passed down to me? And Zuhoor who succeeded him? And Azleena who was the [Communications] Minister after that?”, Minister Maleeh stated.
Minister Maleeh said that there is no constitutional standing for the no confidence motion.
Minister of Communication, Science and Technology Mohamed Maleeh Jamaal also defended himself stating that the allegation that he had unjustly fired employees who were responsible for creating the guidelines. Instead, he had fired three political appointees under the President Solih’s “Zero Tolerance to Corruption” policy. The fired employees include a State Minister, Deputy Minister and Executive Director.
The country is more important to me than my job. I will sacrifice my job to fight for the constitutional rights.Minister Maleeh
He also questioned the ruling party, MDP, as to the real reason behind the no confidence motion, and accused the party of only advocating for justice when they are the opposition, and asked to practice justice when they are in power as well.
The no confidence vote against the Minister also comes following his comments aimed at the PG group of MDP on a TV program, in which he said that the Parliament members cannot dictate how the government should do it’s job and that no such policy can also be formulated.
Meanwhile, there has been public concerns against Minister Maleeh regarding the steep internet prices lack of accessibility. The average cost of one gigabyte (1GB) was then calculated and compared to form a worldwide mobile data pricing league table on which the Maldives was ranked at 135 with cost of data varying from $3.88 – to $10.63 per GB. This makes internet unaffordable for most of the average families.
The motion was submitted by the Parliamentary Group leader of MDP Ali Azim. The Parliamentary Group (PG) of the leading governing coalition party, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) voted in favor of moving forward with a no confidence vote against Minister Maleeh with 14 members signing the motion.
A total of 43 members need to vote for the no confidence motion in order to remove the Minister from his job.