The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has declared that it will not allow the swearing-in ceremony for the newly elected President and Vice-President to take place while the current Speaker of Parliament, who has lost the confidence of members, remains in position. 

In a statement issued today, the MDP assured that they will do everything possible to ensure that the swearing-in ceremony is free from legal questions.

According to the MDP, no other parliamentary issue, including the approval of the President-elect’s cabinet, will be discussed until the no-confidence motion against the Speaker is settled. 

The Parliament Secretariat has now confirmed that this motion is scheduled for a vote in Sunday’s parliamentary sitting.

The swearing-in of the President-elect is constitutionally mandated to occur at a formal sitting of the Parliament. Article 205 of the parliamentary rules of procedure outlines that a no-confidence motion against the Speaker must be moved by a resolution signed by at least one-fourth of the total number of members of Parliament. 

Once this resolution is received, the assembly must place it on the agenda within three days, excluding public holidays, and after a 14-day notice period, the motion must be addressed at the earliest sitting of the Parliament.

Legal experts from President-elect Mohamed Muizzu’s PPM-PNC coalition have expressed dissatisfaction with MDP’s stance. Former Prosecutor General Muhthaz Muhsin argued that it is improper to halt state activities due to the desires of a specific political group. Former Attorney General Azima Shukoor labelled MDP’s efforts as a “losing battle”.

However, their views were countered by former Attorney General Diyana Saeed, who campaigned for incumbent President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. Saeed supports MDP’s position, asserting that the Speaker has no authority to run the Parliament if the no-confidence motion remains pending after the expiry of the notice period.

The MDP, possessing a majority in Parliament, has the power to bring legislative activities to a deadlock. According to the rules of procedure, other parliamentary business may only proceed after a decision on the no-confidence motion has been reached. Thus, if the vote is not conducted by 17 November, the swearing-in ceremony could be thrown into a constitutional crisis.