The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has taken a firm stance against the inauguration of the president-elect amidst the ongoing no-confidence motion against Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed. The party insists that the new president’s swearing-in should be presided over by a speaker who has the confidence of the parliament.

In addition, the MDP has stated that it will not approve the incoming government’s cabinet positions as long as the no-confidence motion hangs in the balance. While alleging that Nasheed is attempting to delay proceedings, the MDP has issued a three-line whip on the no-confidence motion, which is now scheduled for Sunday.

“We, the MDP parliamentary group, will not consider the presidential oath on 17 [November] to be legitimate if it is taken before a [no-confidence] vote is concluded. That is what we have discussed [and agreed upon],” Mohamed Aslam, MDP’s parliamentary group leader and Member of Parliament (MP) for the North Hithadhoo constituency, declared.

Rozaina Adam, MP for the Meedhoo constituency, said she would withdraw her participation in any proceedings brought before the legislative body so long as the no-confidence motion does not move forward.

“…The President’s swearing-in ceremony should be conducted with a speaker that the parliament has confidence in. We cannot allow a Speaker who has lost confidence [of Parliament] the space to preside over such a proceeding of such significance in the guise of representing Parliament. We cannot allow the space for the oath to be administered or a cabinet to be approved in such a manner, through proceedings that are not legitimate,” the Meedhoo MP stated.

Mohamed Nashiz, MP for the Kinbidhoo constituency, also echoed the MDP parliamentary group’s stance on the matter.

“If Speaker Nasheed presides over the session without proceeding on the no-confidence motion we have a resounding ‘no’ to the cabinet and other proceedings forwarded by the President-elect,” he said.

The MDP alleges that Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla, who was absent from Tuesday’s sessions, had planned to prevent the sitting continuing on that day. The party also suspects that the parliamentary secretariat may attempt to postpone the no-confidence motion and resume general legislative business on Monday.

The current no-confidence motion against Nasheed has the support of 49 MPs. A prior no-confidence motion had later been scrapped by the MDP over issues of parliamentary administration and as part of its campaign strategy ahead of the presidential elections run-off.

The no-confidence motion requires 44 votes to carry through and vacate Nasheed’s position as Speaker. The president-elect is scheduled to be sworn in at a special session of the parliament on 17 November.