Parliamentarians from the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) have expressed their dissatisfaction with the cancellation of Sunday’s sitting, in which the no-confidence motion on Speaker Mohamed Nasheed was to take place. The sitting was cancelled because Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla was unwell, according to the Parliament Secretariat.

Upon being informed of the cancellation, several MDP MPs expressed their sense of displeasure at Secretary General Fathimath Niusha and Counsel General Fathimath Filza. Videos circulating on social media show MP Ibrahim Shareef of the Maradhoo constituency leading the dissent.

MDP MPs are now considering taking up the matter at the Supreme Court to find a way forward as actions of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker continue to hinder sessions.

MDP contends that the parliamentary rules of procedure have been written in a manner that limits a right conferred on parliament by the Constitution. However, MDP has also suggested that the procedural rules allow for the designation of an alternate to preside over the sessions.

According to the rules of procedure, the deputy speaker shall preside over sessions in the event of a no-confidence motion against the Speaker. Currently, both the Speaker and Deputy Speaker belong to The Democrats. Nasheed and Abdulla, who originally obtained their positions through an MDP parliamentary majority, argue that the no-confidence motion was initiated illegally.

The MDP parliamentary group says, in line with parliamentary procedure, it will not allow any other parliamentary business to proceed until the no-confidence motion on Nasheed moves forward. This includes the presidential inauguration, which takes place during a special parliamentary session.