The proposed no-confidence motions on Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Aslam and Deputy Speaker Ahmed Saleem, both members of the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), is dead in the water after thirteen Members of Parliament (MPs) wrote to the Speaker withdrawing support.

The Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) and People’s National Congress (PNC) coalition had originally sought to remove the Speaker and Deputy Speaker from their positions; getting as far as having notices served by the Parliamentary Secretariat following no-confidence motions filed against them.

The communique confirming the withdrawal of support simply stated that the lawmakers no longer wanted to proceed with the motion at this time, with no other reasons given. Parliamentary group leader for PNC and MP for Fonadhoo, Moosa Siraj — who had originally filed the no-confidence motions — as well as Parliamentary group leader for PPM and MP for Eydhafushi, Ahmed Saleem were among those who withdrew their support for the no-confidence motions.

Other MPs who withdrew included;

  • Mohamed Nasheed Abdulla, MP for Nolhivaram
  • Ibrahim Naseem, MP for Thulusdhoo
  • Mohamed Nihad, MP for Feydhoo
  • Ali Hameed, MP for Isdhoo
  • Abdul Muhsin Hameed, MP for Nilendhoo
  • Ibrahim Naseer, MP for Mulaku
  • Hassan Zareer, MP for Mathiveri
  • Hassan Shiyan, MP for Thoddoo
  • Ibrahim Shaaz, MP for Guraidhoo
  • Abdul Ghani Abdul Hakeem, MP for Kurendhoo
  • Mohamed Rashid, MP for Komandoo

“I cannot give details of the discussions, but it [the no-confidence motion] does not seem necessary at this time,” Siraj said, declining to provide additional clarification on the reversal, other than to say that the decision was made after extensive discussions within the parliamentary group.

While the motion had originally had the support of 23 lawmakers, the withdrawal of support from 13 MPs had left the motion well short of the 20 member-support required as per Rule 205 of the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament to carry forward a no-confidence vote.

PPM/PNC lawmakers had alleged in their original motion that the Speaker had violated Section 200(e) of the standing order of parliament, which mandates the earliest possible scheduling of the cabinet confirmation, claiming Aslam had delayed the matter by eight days.

The lawmakers had further accused that Speaker Aslam returned the cabinet confirmation to the Government Oversight Committee without allowing lawmakers to debate when the delayed issue was placed on the agenda for a sitting on 18 January. The Speaker had violated Sections 70 and 75 of the Constitution, lawmakers alleged, going on to assert that Deputy Speaker Saleem had failed to intervene or take any action while the speaker was purportedly in violation of the Constitution and standing order of parliament.