No-confidence motion of Gov’t leaders on boundary issue will be moved in parliament: MP Usham

MP of Villimale' constituency Ahmed Usham | Photo: Majlis

Member of Parliament of Vilimale’ Constituency, Ahmed Usham has said that MP’s were preparing to take a no-confidence motion against the negligent leaders in its application to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Seas (ITLOS) to determine the maritime territory in between the Chagos Islands and Maldives.

While many people are raising their voices against the government over the Chagos issue, some former Attorney Generals, the opposition PPM, MNP and the ruling coalition JP and MRM held a press conference yesterday to oppose the governments stand on the ITLOS judgement.

MNP Deputy PG Leader, Vilimale MP Usham, who attended the meeting, said the government had acted in a harmful manner on the border issue and failed to defend the national interests of Maldives.

He said a no-confidence motion would be taken against all government officials involved in the case to hold the government accountable.

“We will file a no-confidence motion against those involved in the next few days,” he said, adding that he was in talks with other parties besides the MDP.

There is a conflicting exclusive economic zone of about 95,000 square kilometers between Maldives and the Chagos Islands, less than 200 nautical miles on either side. The issue of sovereignty of Chagos has long been raised, and its borders had never been officially established.

ITLOS supported the Maldives’ stance while concluding the dispute between the Maldives and Mauritius on the overlapping maritime boundary issue. The verdict favoured the Maldives in its claim, according 47,232 sq kilometres – the larger portion of the overlapping area- to the Maldives.

Even if a no-confidence motion is tabled in parliament, the government has a majority in parliament. Such a motion is moved by 10 signatures of the House. Two-thirds of the votes of the House are required to pass. That’s 43 votes.

However, with the ITLOS decision on the delimitation of the disputed portion of the sea between Maldives and Chagos Archipelago, it has denied Maldives the chance to gain the continental shelf it sought at the UN in 2010.

According to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS), the continental shelf of a country is an extension of its land area. Each country would have the right to claim the continental shelf up to 350 nautical miles.

In 2010, Maldives submitted a proposal to the UN Committee to acquire an additional 150 nautical miles of continental shelf outside the 200 nautical miles of Maldives’ exclusive economic zone.