Parliament session cut short without taking AG’s no-confidence vote

Attorney General of Maldives, Ibrahim Riffath. | Photo: Majlis

Parliament of Maldives session has been cut short without taking the vote on the no-confidence motion against the Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath citing that the decorum of the parliament was lost.

After the recess, the session was presided over by Vilufushi MP Hassan Afeef. After the break, the session continued with the debate on the no-confidence motion against Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath.

However, the MPs who moved the no-confidence motion protested loudly against the AG for not answering their questions. The Speaker had repeatedly asked the members to remain in their seats.

The Speaker adjourned the session saying the members were not sitting down and making noise in the parliament causing the decorum being lost.

The no-confidence motion was not debated for more than an hour as members also took up the point of order when AG Riffath had the opportunity to respond to the issue.

As per the Constitution, AG Riffath was given the chance to defend himself for said allegations at last weeks parliamentary session.

However, Riffath decided to exercise his right to defend himself by sending a written document instead of appearing, which caused rifts amongst members. 

Speaker Nasheed informed that he will be needing advice from Supreme Court to move further as it is not clear in the Constitution what procedure lies ahead when a cabinet minister declines the summon and present only a written defense. 

Following this, AG later had decided that he will exercise his right to speak at the parliament and defend his name and had appeared before the parliament today.

Opposition members decided to take a no-confidence vote against AG, claiming he has failed his duties in protecting Maldivian sea in the Chagos dispute.

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.