As the Parliament prepares to vote on a no-confidence motion against its Speaker Mohamed Nasheed, the Parliamentary Group Leader of The Democrats, Ali Azim, has predicted that the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) will suffer a “major defeat” in the vote. 

On Thursday, Azim stated that MDP’s attempt to dismiss Speaker Nasheed would result in another significant loss for the party, reminiscent of its defeat in September’s presidential election. “God willing, we will not allow any motion to dismiss the Speaker to go ahead while we are in parliament,” Azim said.

Azim further argued that MDP’s declining reputation and recent setbacks are due to the incompetence of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. He suggested that the no-confidence motion against Speaker Nasheed is merely an attempt to appease the President following his electoral loss.

Previously, MDP had assured that they would do everything possible to ensure the swearing-in ceremony for the President-elect is conducted without any legal quandaries. Despite this, the party has stated that it will not cooperate in any parliamentary work unless the no-confidence motion is addressed and will not accept Dr Mohamed Muizzu’s oath of office if officiated by Nasheed as Speaker.

The Parliament Secretariat has confirmed that the no-confidence motion is on the agenda for Sunday’s sitting. MDP had also previously submitted another motion to dismiss Speaker Nasheed, but it was withdrawn amidst the electoral season last month.

According to parliamentary rules, a no-confidence motion must precede all other parliamentary activities. Consequently, if the motion is not voted on by 17 November, the swearing-in ceremony for the President-elect could be put in jeopardy. MDP, holding the majority in Parliament, has the capability to halt legislative proceedings until the motion is resolved.

Legal experts remain divided over the issue. While some, like former Prosecutor General Muhthaz Muhsin, see MDP’s stance as an obstruction to governmental functions, others, including former Attorney General Diyana Saeed, believe MDP is upholding democratic norms by insisting on resolving the no-confidence motion first.