Will remove any minister who fails: President Solih

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (M), First Lady Fazna Ahmed (R) and Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed (L) arriving at the parliament | Photo: Nishan Ali

Malé, Maldives –  President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has stated that if a member of parliament has lost the confidence in a minister of his cabinet, the best course of action is to bring the matter to him directly.

This statement comes at a time where the ruling party, Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) parliamentary group has been accused of targeting ministers of other parties in the government coalition for unjustified no-confidence motions.

At a virtual news conference from the President’s Office, President Solih stated that if an issue related to a minister arises, it is important to follow policies and attempt to solve the matter through discussions in the parliamentary group.

He added that this is not something new, noting that similar votes of no confidence occured in Parliament the last time a MDP led coalition was elected into office, in 2008.

President Solih, who was MDP’s parliamentary group leader back then, stated today that voting did occur in the parliamentary group for the dismissal of Ministers, however, the issues were normally resolved internally after discussions with the then government leaders.

The President also told that if he believes that a minister has failed that he will depose that minister himself as he vowed to when he was elected. He added that even the ministers would accept that the interests of the people should be put forth before theirs.

As President Solih is going through his second year in office, 5 ministers in his cabinet have changed and changes have come to slots in 3 ministries assigned to coalition parties. It has been noted by many that none of the deposed ministers are from MDP, the main party of the coalition which holds an overwhelming super majority in parliament.

The most recent dismissal was the Minister for Communication, Science and Technology, Mohamed Maleeh Jamal, who according to President Solih, chose to settle the matter in parliament rather than through internal discussions.

Currently, another Minister faces dismissal through a no confidence motion.  A no confidence motion against the Minister for the Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture, Zaha Waheed with signatures of 10 opposition parliamentarians from the opposition earlier today.