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Unlawful dismissal of Nasheed's no-confidence motion: AG Riffath

Mohamed Rehan
13 November 2023, MVT 11:05
Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath-- Photo: Mihaaru
Mohamed Rehan
13 November 2023, MVT 11:05

Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath has expressed that the parliament chair's decision on Sunday, November 12, to dismiss Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed's no-confidence motion was in violation of the parliament regulations.

During Sunday's sitting, the motion was deemed unlawful and dismissed based on points of order submitted by members of The Democrats.

The minority party argued that the motion lacked legal characteristics and, therefore, should not be accepted.

Vilufushi MP Hassan Afeef, who chaired Sunday's morning sitting at 9:00 a.m., agreed with the points of orders submitted by The Democrats and dismissed the motion despite the parliament Secretary General's advice against it.

A second sitting was scheduled for 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, chaired by Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla, who refused to proceed with the motion, stating that a decision on the matter had already been made during the previous sitting. She said that it was unnecessary to address the same issue twice in the same day.

While the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party's (MDP) parliamentary group decided to seek the General Committee's assistance to obtain an official legal opinion from the Attorney General regarding Sunday's parliamentary decision, Riffath on Sunday evening stated via X that the no-confidence motion is not required to follow the same procedure as general resolutions or motions.

The AG further said that the only requisites for Nasheed's no-confidence motion is the signature of one-fourth of the total number of parliament MPs endorsing it.

"The parliament chair's decision to dismiss the no-confidence motion on the basis of a point of order from a member was unlawful and in contradiction of the parliament regulation," Riffath said.

He also said that Afeef and Eva, who are members of The Democrats, which is influenced by Nasheed, chairing the parliament sitting on the Speaker's no-confidence motion was a conflict of interest.

AG Riffath said that it was important to bar members who had a conflict of interest in the motion to chair its sitting along with those recusing or rejecting to preside as the chair.

While the Attorney General shared his opinion, it has been learned that the parliament secretariat has also disapproved the decisions made by both Afeef and Eva during Sunday's sittings.

Despite two failed sittings on Nasheed's no-confidence on Sunday, another sitting on the matter has been tabled for 11:00 a.m. on Monday, November 13.