The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) parliamentary group leader and north-Hithadhoo MP Mohamed Aslam stated that the parliament regulations provide a framework to avoid deadlock situations and allow for the smooth continuation of parliamentary proceedings.
Aslam's comments were made in response to Vice Speaker Eva Abdulla's allegations that the no-confidence motions filed by the ruling MDP against her and Speaker Mohamed Nasheed were attempts to throw the parliament into a deadlock.
According to the parliament regulations, in the case of a no-confidence motion against the Vice Speaker, the Speaker will preside as the chair during the debate and if a no-confidence motion is debated against the Speaker, the Vice Speaker will preside over the proceedings.
However, Eva said that the ruling party's submission of no-confidence motions against her and Speaker Mohamed Nasheed is an attempt to impede the parliament's oversight of the government, especially considering the upcoming elections in about three months.
Speaking on the matter, Aslam said that it was his own belief that both the Speaker and Vice Speaker should not preside over parliament proceedings. He said that the ideal decision for both Mohamed Nasheed and Eva Abdulla would be to step down from their positions, considering the submission of no-confidence motions against them by the parliament majority.
Aslam said that despite his personal opinion, the existing regulations allow for the Speaker or Vice Speaker to chair the parliament proceedings. He emphasized that there are no obstacles in the regulations that would prevent them from fulfilling their roles. Aslam added that the allegations made by Eva regarding his comments are unjustified.
Aslam clarified that neither he nor the ruling party have any intention of causing a deadlock in parliament. He assured that the upcoming sitting on Monday will proceed in accordance with the regulations. He said that the regulations specify the procedure to be followed when both the Speaker and Vice Speaker are unable to chair the proceedings of parliament.
"They are intervening in the formation of parliament's standing committees to deliberately delay their dismissal," said Aslam, who has been serving in the parliament for 19 years.
While the 14-day period for the no-confidence motion against Eva is set to expire next Sunday, June 11, the parliament Secretary General, Fathimath Niusha, has sent a letter to the MPs stating that the no-confidence debate cannot proceed. Niusha cited the reason that the general committee had not allocated time for the debate since standing committees have not been formed yet.
In response to the letter, MDP said that the general committee could be called upon with the existing members. Taking into consideration the parliamentary regulations, many members of the party's parliamentary group believe that the general committee consists of members from the standing committees.