Members of the Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) who vote in favour of the no-confidence motion against Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath will face expulsion from the party, MDP Vice-Chairman and President’s Office Minister Ibrahim Waheed said on Saturday.

Some local media outlets cited Waheed as saying that participation in another party’s movement against the MDP would result in the loss of party membership as per the party charter.

The no-confidence motion against Riffath was filed with the support of members from the opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), Jumhooree Party (JP), Maldives National Congress (MNP), and some members from the ruling MDP who support Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed. The motion accuses Riffath of failing to protect the Maldives’ interests in a recent case at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS).

On Thursday, the MDP released a statement expressing full confidence in Riffath’s abilities and declaring that it would thwart any effort to remove him from his position.

“The MDP will not allow the no-confidence motion against Riffath to succeed,” the statement said. It added that action will be taken against the party’s MPs who participate in political activities in violation of the party’s rules.

The ruling MDP has 68 MPs, but internal politics between President Ibrahim Mohammed Solih and Nasheed have led to factions among the party MPs. Out of the total MPs, 59 support Solih, while the remaining MPs are backing Nasheed and are expected to vote for the no-confidence motion.

A two-thirds majority of the 87-member parliament is required to pass the motion. With Nasheed’s 12 MPs and the opposition’s support, the motion has a total of 28 votes, 15 votes shy of the required number.