MP Jabir takes back his signature from Minister Zaha’s no confidence motion

DRP leader and Kaashidhoo constituency MP Abdulla Jabir | Photo: Majlis

Malé, Maldives – Kaashidhoo constituency parliamentary member, Abdulla Jabir (Chairman Jabir) has taken back his signature from Minister for the Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture, Zaha Waheed‘s no confidence motion.

The motion was filed at the Maldivian Parliament on March 10, 2021 with ten members signatures including MP Jabir’s. While MP jabir has revoked his signature, the motion for the no confidence motion has been automatically tossed out of the parliament as no confidence motions require minimum 10 members signatures.

In a letter sent by MP Jabir to the Speaker of Parliament, MP Jabir stated that Minister Zaha had opened the Maldivian seas and also was working to find solutions to the issues being faced by farmers. MP Jabir also added that ministers recent efforts to solve the issues for the fishermen and farmers was a sign that his work was effective and that he had decided to put his trust back in Minister Zaha.

MP Jabir’s decision to take back his signature from the no confidence motion comes while Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture had stated that discussions are in progress to legalize shark fishing and lifting the Maldives’ 11-year-old shark fishery ban on 23 March 2021, in the Maldives, which MP Jabir has been advocating since he got elected for the current parliament.

MP Jabir has openly advocated to allow shark fishing in Maldives and has said that the government needs to explore the economic benefits of the trade in the niche global market. MP Jabir has also criticized Minister Zaha for not allowing shark fishing in Maldives on several occasions and stated that it was one of the biggest issues being faced by fishermen.

The motion detailed the cause of filing for a no confidence vote as failure to provide a fair price for fisherperson’s catch, and failure to arrange for those who go out to fish to receive payments in dollars. It was also added that the pledges to improve the economy of the country, and to establish yellow fin tuna huts and neighbourhood fish factories have also not been fulfilled.

Highlighting more government pledges, the motion stationed that while Minister Zaha is unable to perform her duties, her continued time in office would only prove to be detrimental to those working in the fishing industry and their families.

Minister Zaha has come under criticism of both ruling and opposition party parliamentarians since she took on office. Kaashidhoo MP, Abdulla Jabir, who also signed on Minister Zaha’s no confidence motion had questioned the minister on several occasions in parliament and criticized her on the ministries works to support fishermen of Maldives. 

Member of Kaashidhoo constituency Abdulla Jabir had previously questioned Minister Zaha stating that the local fishermen left on the streets in dire conditions in contradiction to the presidential pledges to fishermen as the government has closed the doors for the benefits available to the them through the China-Maldives Free Trade Agreement. 

He had also questioned why Minister Zaha has been idle and lie to the fishermen instead of working to deliver the presidential pledges as promised during the campaign.

In addition to this Parliament’s Regulations Committee had also found Minister Zaha neglectful of her duties earlier this year following its review of the failure of the Fisheries Ministry to create many of the regulations required under the Fisheries Act – regulations which must be established within 90 days of the legislature’s enactment. Speaker of Parliament, Nasheed had also said that Minister Zaha had failed as a minister and that the next step is clear reffering to a no-confidence.