Angered opposition lawmakers declared that their next motion of no confidence against parliamentary speaker Abdulla Maseeh and deputy speaker Moosa Manik will be resubmitted with the signature of 42 lawmakers as per the new regulation amendment that was passed on Monday.
The amendment to parliament regulations, effective immediately, states that no less than 42 signatures are required to submit a motion of no confidence against the speaker and deputy speaker. This amendment was passed amidst the motions of no confidence currently submitted against Speaker Abdulla Maseeh and Deputy Speaker Moosa Manik by lawmakers of the opposition coalition. While the third no confidence motion was submitted against the speaker on Sunday, the debate on the no confidence motion against the deputy speaker was scheduled to be held this Tuesday.
With this amendment, the two motions have been automatically thrown out of the parliament. The regulations prior to this amendment mandated only a minimum of 15 signatures from lawmakers to submit a no confidence motion against the speaker and deputy speaker.
The sudden amendment, which was abruptly passed by the government controlled parliamentary General Purpose Committee, was passed on the parliament floor Monday with 46 lawmakers voting in favour. None of the opposition lawmakers took part in the vote.
Speaking to press after the vote, the Parliamentary Group leader of main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), Ibrahim Mohamed Solih claimed that the amendment is clearly against the Constitution, saying that, hence, no opposition member took part in the vote which "shouldn’t have been scheduled in the first place."
Solih reiterated that if a no confidence motion is called for vote within the boundaries of the Constitution, it will be passed without doubt.
“These efforts cannot be stopped. We will remain to bring reform. As far as we remain within the Constitution, the government will run out of options,” said the minority leader of the parliament.
Meanwhile, Dhiggaru MP Faris Maumoon said that the opposition is gaining ground and making progress, noting that ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and government coalition partner Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) received two votes less than in the last session.
Claiming that there are already 11 lawmakers from the ruling coalition who will vote against Speaker Maseeh, Kinbidhoo constituency's lawmaker and deputy leader of Jumhoory Party (JP) Abdulla Riyaz said that President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom is also well aware of such members.
He vowed that an end will be brought to the unlawful actions of the current government.