In a brief parliamentary session that concluded in less than two hours, the previously submitted no-confidence motions against Speaker Mohamed Nasheed and Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla were nullified as several MPs retracted their support.

The no-confidence motions were submitted in June by the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and had initially secured the support of 54 MPs against Speaker Nasheed and 50 MPs against Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla. 

However, Speaker Nasheed informed the assembly that while 25 MPs had withdrawn their signatures, the required minimum of 22 endorsements were still intact, and the motions could proceed unless eight more MPs rescinded their support.

Following Nasheed’s announcement, he temporarily stepped aside, appointing Vilufushi MP Hassan Afeef to preside over the proceedings. The MDP parliamentary group subsequently called for a brief recess to discuss their next steps. Post-recess, it was announced that additional MDP MPs had removed their names from the motions, rendering them inadmissible for debate.

MP Hassan Afeef declared, “The tally of MPs still backing the no-confidence motion against the Speaker is now 21, and against the Deputy Speaker, it stands at 17. Hence, we are unable to move forward with these motions and I declare this sitting concluded.”

Leader of MDP’s parliamentary group, North Hithadhoo MP Mohamed Aslam, clarified that the decision to withdraw the motions was made “for the greater good” and to mitigate further political tensions, especially considering the ongoing elections.

This decision comes amid internal strife within the MDP, which enjoys a supermajority in Parliament. Several MPs loyal to Speaker Nasheed had previously left the party, leading to a stalemate in parliamentary activities. The parliamentary composition underwent another transformation when MPs who had departed the MDP formed a new party, The Democrats.

The move to withdraw the no-confidence motions comes against the backdrop of MDP trying to win back the Democrats’ support as they head into the run-off of the Presidential Elections, where MDP’s candidate lost to the opposition by a six-point margin.