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Parliament deputy speaker “will not be cowed” over no confidence vote

Fathmath Shaahunaz
15 March 2017, MVT 13:51
Parliament deputy speaker and Hulhuhenveiru MP Moosa Manik pictured during parliament sitting. PHOTO/MAJLIS
Fathmath Shaahunaz
15 March 2017, MVT 13:51

The deputy speaker of the parliament, Hulhuhenveiru MP Moosa Manik, on Wednesday declared that the opposition seeking a motion of no confidence against him is merely an attempt to intimidate him into submission, but asserted that he will not be cowed.

Hitting back at opposition lawmakers who are seeking his removal, MP Manik said in a tweet in local Dhivehi language that people who believe anything can be achieved through threats and coercion are “foolish”.

Responding to Mihaaru’s inquiry regarding his tweet, MP Manik stated that the mandate of the deputy speaker is to uphold the Constitution and parliament regulations. He added that he always maintains equality and justice when chairing parliament sittings.

Opposition lawmakers’ decision to seek a motion of no confidence against MP Manik comes in the wake of a petition submitted to the parliament seeking a no confidence vote against the speaker Abdulla Maseeh. The parliament administration has scheduled to hold the debate on the speaker’s motion of no confidence on March 27, which MP Manik is to chair.

The deputy speaker claimed that the opposition are aware that the motion of no confidence against Speaker Maseeh is bound to fail. He accused them of thus trying to scare him but declared that he will not be driven back.

MP Manik went on to allege that the motion of no confidence against him was initiated by lawmakers supporting Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s faction of the divided Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and highly censured them.

He also said that the no confidence vote is being submitted due to lack of investigation and action against the corruption, dispute and abuse that took place during the three decades of Former President Maumoon’s administration. Hence, he called on the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) to launch probes and serve justice.

“Because those corruption cases are left untouched, we now see [their] children out to remove us from our posts,” he said, referring to Former President Maumoon’s son, Dhiggaru MP Faris Maumoon, who spearheaded the motion of no confidence against Speaker Maseeh, which was submitted to the parliament last Wednesday with 26 signatures. It appears that the no confidence vote against the speaker is a direct initiative of Former President Maumoon.

However, the motion of no confidence againstdeputy speaker MP Manik was initiated by the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP). Lawmakers of MDP have been in talks with parliamentarians of Former President Maumoon’s faction of PPM regarding the issue.

A majority of votes in favour by the members present on that day’s sitting is required to pass a motion of no confidence against the speaker and deputy speaker. MP Faris declared on Sunday that they have confirmed enough votes will be given to remove Speaker Maseeh from position. According to MP Faris, 42 votes out of 85 members are needed to pass the motion of no confidence.

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