The Parliamentary Committee on Privileges and Ethics has determined that Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla and MP Hassan Afeef, who chaired two sessions on the no-confidence motion against Speaker Mohamed Nasheed, violated parliamentary privileges.

The 12-member committee, dominated by members of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), considered a complaint from Majority Leader Mohamed Aslam (MDP). Aslam accused Afeef of making a decision that infringed upon the privileges of the entire parliament.

In its assessment, the committee examined the actions of both MP Afeef and Deputy Speaker Eva in dismissing the no-confidence motion. It concluded that both had violated parliamentary privileges. Consequently, the committee ruled that no member of the Democrats – Nasheed’s party – should preside over a session discussing the motion.

Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla presided over the second sitting held at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, 12 November 2023. (Photo: People’s Majlis)

Afeef had initially dismissed the motion, citing a procedural flaw raised by Minority Leader Ali Azim (Dems), who argued that the motion was incomplete as per parliamentary procedures.

A second session was convened an hour later, presided by Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla, who concluded the meeting as soon as it began, citing that the motion had been decided upon earlier. 

In response to these developments, MP Ahmed Usham, who is expected to be appointed as the incoming Attorney General, commented to a local media outlet that the Democrats’ claim was without legal foundation. Usham highlighted that under Article 167 of parliamentary procedures, a motion can be submitted to represent a stance of the parliament.

Usham further explained that such a motion carries the same procedural significance as a bill presented in parliament, asserting that it should have been considered during the session.