President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom met with lawmakers of ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and government coalition partner Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) late Monday regarding the motion of no confidence being sought against parliamentary speaker Abdulla Maseeh.
Whereas details of the meeting have not been disclosed yet, PPM’s parliamentary group leader and Villimale MP Ahmed Nihan had tweeted during the discussion that the government-aligned lawmakers will collectively “fail” the opposition’s attempts to remove the parliament chair.
There was harsh criticism expressed over social media regarding this discussion as less than half of the collective 55 lawmakers of PPM and MDA were reported to have attended the meeting. In response, PPM’s deputy parliamentary group leader Riyaz Rasheed told Mihaaru early Tuesday that all parliamentarians currently in capital Male had attended the discussion.
According to MP Riyaz, only three members of the government coalition will vote in favour of the no confidence vote as per the opposition’s wishes. The three lawmakers are Dhiggaru MP Faris Maumoon formerly of PPM, Thulusdhoo MP Mohamed Waheed Ibrahim of PPM and Nolhivaram MP Hussain Areef of MDA.
“These three are the only votes the opposition will receive. No member of PPM/MDA will vote against Maseeh,” he declared.
The parliamentary debate over the motion of no confidence against Speaker Maseeh has been scheduled for the sitting next Monday.
The motion of no confidence was lobbied to the parliament with 26 signatures by the son of Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and the current president’s nephew, Dhiggaru MP Faris Maumoon. The no confidence vote is a direct initiative of Former President Maumoon.
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. MP Faris claims to have confirmed that enough votes will be given to remove Maseeh from position. According to the lawmaker, 42 votes out of 85 members are needed to pass the motion of no confidence.
Meanwhile, President Yameen has requested all lawmakers of PPM to refrain from travelling outside of capital Male three days prior to the debate onwards.