Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath has been served notice to respond to a no-confidence motion filed by the opposition. It adds to the internal divisions within the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and shapes the political landscape of the country.  Supported by 13 Members of Parliament, the motion accuses Riffath of neglecting national interests in a recent case at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS).

Recent developments in the Maldives have brought significant changes to the political landscape, altering the balance of power within the MDP. Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed’s supporters, including 12 MPs, have split from the party and established a new political party ahead of the upcoming Presidential Election. This move follows the MDP’s expulsion of Ali Azim, the MP for Central Henveiru and former leader of the MDP parliamentary group, due to his involvement in meetings and press conferences organized by the opposition coalition. Azim has also signed the no-confidence motion against Attorney General Riffath.

Sources familiar with the matter anticipate that the opposition, consisting of members from the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), Jumhooree Party (JP), Maldives National Congress (MNP), and Nasheed’s loyalists, will vote in favor of the no-confidence motion. However, analysts suggest that the motion is likely to fall short of the required two-thirds majority. It needs support from approximately 28 MPs, 15 votes shy of the necessary majority in the 87-member parliament.

Challenged position

The no-confidence motion against Attorney General Riffath presents a significant challenge to his position, with the backing of Nasheed’s faction bolstering the opposition’s ranks. The upcoming parliamentary debate, scheduled to take place after the mandatory 14-day notice period, will be closely watched as it offers insights into the changing dynamics of party politics and representation in the Maldives.

The outcome of the no-confidence motion and subsequent political realignments are expected to have a pivotal impact on the country’s future, particularly as it approaches the upcoming presidential election, according to analysts. The internal divisions within political parties and shifting alliances underscore the uncertainties surrounding the future of Maldivian politics, highlighting the profound transformations occurring within the nation’s political landscape.