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Opposition to pursue no-confidence motion against Home Minister Imran

Mariyam Malsa
26 October 2020, MVT 15:27
Minister of Home Affairs Imran Abdulla. PHOTO: AHMED AWSHAN ILYAS/ MIHAARU
Mariyam Malsa
26 October 2020, MVT 15:27

The opposition coalition, consisting of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and the People's National Congress (PNC), revealed that efforts were underway to lodge a motion of no-confidence against incumbent Minister of Home Affairs Imran Abdulla over problematic public rhetoric concerning three high profile cases.

Minister Imran is the president of the religiously conservative Adhaalath Party, which is one of the three major political parties included in the ruling coalition.

Speaking to local media outlet Mihaaru on Sunday, Naifaru MP Ahmed Shiyam revealed that the motion would be submitted once the signatures of 10 parliamentarians are successfully collected.

The three instances mentioned under the motion include the home minister's remarks concerning the murder of former MP Dr Afrasheem Ali, the enforced disappearance of journalist Ahmed Rilwan and the safari sexual assault case.

According to the document currently being prepared for submission to the parliament, Home Minister Imran made comments concerning the murder of Dr Afrasheem during a nationally broadcasted radio programme which contradicted earlier statements.

The motion also highlighted that Imran claimed, on October 21, that evidence connecting Rilwan's disappearance to former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb and senior officials of the past administrations went missing.

Additionally, the document highlighted that Imran's recent remarks minimizing the severity of the safari sexual assault case implied undue influence over an ongoing investigation and delivered a blow to public confidence that perpetrators of gender-based violence would be brought to justice.

Speaking on air during a programme on national radio station 'Dhivehi Raajjeyge Adu' on Saturday, the minister stated that the case was a "minor" incident that "could have been perpetrated in a public space" without attracting attention.

Minister Imran's comments caused a public uproar on social media, leading to the use of the hashtag #Kudakameh (small matter), derived from a direct quote of the broadcasted interview, to express their disagreement with his views and criticize the poor conviction rate of sexual offenders and inadequate enforcement of laws protecting women and children.

While certain prominent figures in religious factions have spoken out in defense of Imran, these individuals were among those that previously caused public controversies by condoning marital rape.

On Sunday, Shafeea Riza and Noorban Fahmy, the legal representatives of the Kenyan woman who was sexually assaulted in June aboard a safari docked at Hulhumale' lagoon, addressed a letter to Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed which condemned the Imran's remarks and requested the parliament to launch a no-confidence investigation concerning the home minister.