Chair of Parliament's Security Services (241) Committee and Hithadhoo MP Mohamed Aslam has expressed his intention to obtain the letter sent by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to the Mauritian Prime Minister during the Chagos archipelago tension between the two countries.
President Solih sent the letter to the Mauritius PM when the hearings of the bundary demarcation dispute at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) by Mauritius was ongoing. The letter served as written confirmation of the Maldivian government's change in stance, expressing support for the transfer of sovereign control of the Chagos Islands to Mauritius.
However, the opposition has alleged that the boundary demarcation dispute was concluded based on the contents of the letter, stating that the country has lost a portion of its sovereign territory. They added that the letter was never presented to the parliament for discussion, and urged the government to disclose the details of the letter.
At the press conference held by MDP parliamentary group to announce the party’s decision to remove Nasheed as Parliament Speaker, Aslam claimed Nasheed was deliberately stalling the creation of parliament’s permanent committees, due to which several important matters were in limbo including the acquisition of the letter sent to Mauritian Prime Minister.
"A decision regarding the President's letter to Mauritius is not progressing as we have been unable to hold a 241 Committee meeting. Once we are able to convene the committee meeting, and if I continue to serve as the committee chair, I will request the letter sent to Mauritius from the President's Office," said Aslam.
Aslam also said that according to Nasheed, the formation of committees was facing delays due to disputes between the parties. MDP however claims that so far, only one meeting had been held among the parties represented in the parliament. Aslam further said that the ruling party had already agreed with the other parties on appointing committee members based on their proportion in the parliament.
MDP currently represents 64 percent of the parliament, which accounts for 113 committee slots. Although the ruling party has agreed to this composition, there are significant disputes among other parties represented in the parliament. However, Aslam said that regardless of these disputes, the committees should be formed in accordance with the regulations set by the parliament.
He also pointed out that the regulations demand for committee memberships to be set based on the proportion of the parties, and that it should be approved by the parliament.
While the parliamentary group of MDP has submitted a no-confidence motion against Speaker Nasheed, the party had previously submitted for the removal Deputy Speaker and North-Galolhu MP Eva Abdulla. Her dismissal debate has been scheduled for Sunday.
Several MDP members alleged that parliament proceedings have been halted by Speaker Nasheed in a bid to stall Eva’s dismissal.