In the wake of the ongoing privilege controversy and concerns over the actions of Speaker Mohamed Nasheed, the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) parliamentary group has announced its decision to pursue the removal of Nasheed as Speaker of Parliament. The move comes as government aligned members express growing dissatisfaction with Nasheed’s recent decisions relating to the parliamentary rules of procedure and perceive them as a hindrance to the proper functioning of parliament.

According to the parliamentary rules of procedure, Speaker and Vice-Speaker can be removed from office by a majority vote of the members present and voting. With a total of 87 members in parliament, a minimum of 44 votes would be required to secure Nasheed’s removal.

The decision to submit a no-confidence motion against Speaker Nasheed was made during a MDP parliamentary group meeting, where 36 members were in favour of the motion. It followed the speaker’s refusal to put to a vote a no-confidence motion filed again the Attorney General, which was scheduled for today. The MDP, with a total of 56 members, believes that the majority will support the motion to impeach the speaker.

MP Mohamed Aslam, leader of the MDP parliamentary group, expressed concern over Nasheed’s conduct, stating that he acts according to his own will and interprets parliamentary rules in his favour. Aslam argues that Nasheed’s actions as the speaker are illegal and go against the principle of the speaker’s role as the enforcer of parliamentary rules.

“The Parliament should operate within the rules. The Speaker has been entrusted with the primary responsibility of enforcing the rules,” Aslam emphasised.

Referring to Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath’s no-confidence motion, Aslam compared the situation to a circus, where rules are disregarded. He voiced his respect for Nasheed’s previous contributions to democracy and reform but stated that he believes Nasheed has deviated from these principles, with actions that seem undemocratic and in violation of laws and regulations for personal gain.

The administrative procedures to submit the no-confidence motion against Speaker Nasheed are currently underway, with MPs signing the motion. The MDP aims to submit the motion to the parliament as soon as possible, signaling their intent to move forward with the process of removing Nasheed from his position.

Meanwhile, the Parliament has set the date for debating a no-confidence motion filed against Vice-Speaker Eva Abdulla. After her resignation from the MDP along with loyalists of Speaker Nasheed to form a new political party challenging President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in the upcoming presidential election, the MDP parliamentary group took immediate action to remove her from her post. The debate on the no-confidence motion against Eva is scheduled for June 11.

As disagreements cast a shadow over parliamentary proceedings, the decision to seek Nasheed’s removal as Speaker, along with the impending vote on the no-confidence motion against Vice-Speaker Eva Abdulla, adds another layer of complexity to the current political tensions.