A large number of opposition supporters gathered at the Alimas Carnival in the capital city of Male’ on Friday night, demonstrating their discontent over the government’s handling of a recent case at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) which decided on the delimitation of the maritime boundary between the Maldives and Mauritius.

The rally, organised by an alliance of opposition parties, was attended by supporters from various islands. Speakers at the gathering voiced their concerns and grievances over the outcome of the ITLOS case, alleging that the government had intentionally ceded a part of the Maldives’ territorial waters, jeopardising national interests.

Following the ITLOS ruling, opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) last month filed no-confidence motions against Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath and Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid. The opposition parties accuse the officials of neglecting national interests during the ITLOS case, which has since become a new rallying point for the opposition.

The scheduled no-confidence motion against Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath, initially set for Wednesday, has encountered delays and uncertainty after he chose to respond in writing instead of appearing before the parliament. Additionally, the motion against Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid is scheduled for Tuesday. Both motions require a simple majority of votes from the 87-member Parliament to succeed.

To successfully pass a no-confidence motion, a simple majority of votes is required. With a total of 87 members in Parliament, at least 43 votes are needed for the motions to be successful, assuming all members are present during the voting session.

Political observers and insiders have been closely monitoring the evolving situation, expressing divergent views on the expected outcome. Opinions are divided regarding the fate of Riffath and Shahid. Some believe the opposition may fall short of the necessary majority to pass the no-confidence motions against the Attorney General and Foreign Minister, thus allowing them to retain their positions.