The parliamentary session to debate and vote on the opposition’s no-confidence motion against Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath has once again faced delays after People’s National Congress (PNC) MP Adam Shareef requested the Attorney General to provide an explanation on why he change his mind.

The Parliament rescheduled the motion for today’s sitting after Riffath sent a letter to Speaker Mohamed Nasheed expressing his intention to provide a detailed response during a parliament sitting. Originally scheduled for Wednesday’s sitting, the Attorney General chose not to appear in person to defend himself against the allegations made in the no-confidence motion and instead submitted his response in writing.

Today’s session was adjourned for the second time after Shareef asked for time to consult with the minority leader.

When the session reconvened, Shareef began moving the matter, but opposition members raised points of order one by one, highlighting Riffath’s absence from the previous day’s session. The government aligned MPs also intervened, urging the speaker to dismiss the motion. As a result, the session adjourned for a tea break at 10:30 am.

The Attorney General’s decision to not appear before parliament on Wednesday raised concerns about the continuity of the proceedings, leading Speaker Nasheed to propose seeking the Supreme Court’s advisory opinion to resolve the impasse. In Wednesday’s sitting, Nasheed emphasised the need to seek legal advice to avoid potential constitutional violations, stating, “I want the Supreme Court to decide on these kinds of legal issues.”

The disagreements among MPs regarding the procedure prompted a temporary adjournment of Wednesday’s sitting. After a half-hour break, the Speaker met with political party leaders in an attempt to find a solution. However, the discussions failed to reach a conclusive agreement. While the majority Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) believes that the Attorney General has the constitutional right to respond in writing, other parties, except the MDP, insist on his personal appearance to address the allegations.

According to Article 95 of the Constitution, the Parliament can only seek the Supreme Court’s advisory opinion if a resolution passed by Parliament initiates the process. Therefore, Nasheed’s proposal to seek legal advice from the Supreme Court was not immediately actionable.