MDP members protest against delaying AG’s no-confidence motion

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP’s protest near the speakers table. | Photo: Twitter

The ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) members have protested near the speakers table today as the no-confidence motion against Attorney General Ibrahim Riffaath has been delayed up in parliament for three days.

In the no-confidence motion filed against the AG for allegedly advocating in the matter to the detriment of the state when the ITLOS declared the EEZ in the south of Maldives, 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 yesterday.

However, the parliament of Maldives session held yesterday was 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.

Meanwhile, when Riffath appeared yesterday and tried to defend himself, members took an extremely high number of point of orders and interrupted the speech. Speaker Nasheed also gave the opportunity for many of these to be heard.

As the session began, MP Hussain Mohammed Latheef moved a motion on Riffath’s privilege. The opposition argued that the no-confidence motion could not proceed without a decision on the issue. The Speaker decided to leave the no confidence motion and move on to the next item on the agenda.

Next on the agenda was a motion by West Hassan Latheef. However, MDP members did not give the opportunity and went to the speakers table to protest. About 15 members of the party were there and criticized the party’s President Nasheed.

This comes while MDP had raised its concerns over how Speaker Nasheed is running the parliament. MDP parliamentary group media coordinator, MP Mohammed Abdullah Shafeeq expressed MDP’s concerns over the behaviour of President Nasheed to local media at a press conference held yesterday at the parliament building.

Answering the question, MP Shafeeq said the Speaker was also the President of MDP and that he may not be removed from office suddenly, but the MDP parliamentary group leader, Hithadhoo North MP Mohammed Aslam, is thinking deeply about the matter as such incidents are repeated.

“We have respect for him as the party president. We are trying to find a solution by talking to him. That is the only reason,” Shafeeq said.

Recently, members supporting President Nasheed have left the MDP and started working to form a separate political party. 

MDP parliamentary group has filed a motion to remove the vice-speaker of parliament, Eva Abdullah, from her post after she left the party.