Shahid’s no-confidence motion being moved today

Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid (CR) and Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar (CL) inaugurate the coastal surveillance radar system in Maldives | Photo: MNDF

The no-confidence motion against Foreign Minister Abdullah Shahid will be moved by the united parties in Parliament today.

The opposition PPM-PNC AI, JP, MDP’s faction of Speaker Mohamed Nasheed and MNP jointly decided to move a no-confidence motion against Shahid on the grounds that he was involved in the loss of part of Maldives territory in the Chagos dispute.

The coalition also filed a no-confidence motion against Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath last week.

At a press conference yesterday, MNP MP Ahmed Usham said all the necessary steps have been taken to move the no-confidence motion against Shahid in parliament. Usham, however, did not say how many members signed the petition.

According to the rules of the Parliament, a motion of no confidence in a minister can be moved with the signatures of at least 10 members. A motion of no confidence in a minister shall be passed by a majority of the total number of members of Parliament.

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

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.