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Punishment for going against MDP, but this is a win: Eva

Mohamed Rehan
03 December 2023, MVT 14:49
Outgoing Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla speaks at Sunday's sitting-- Photo: People's Majilis
Mohamed Rehan
03 December 2023, MVT 14:49

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) moved forward with the no-confidence motion to impede her attempts to stand against the party's misconduct, said outgoing Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla.

Despite the parliament's majority party's decision to dismiss her, Eva said she still considered it as a win.

The North-Galolhu MP made these remarks in her statement in defense of the motion scheduled at Sunday morning's sitting. In her speech, which ran for 30 minutes, Eva had highlighted the initiatives and work she carried out as the Deputy Speaker. She further stressed the causes she would not be a part of as well.

Reasons for MDP's decision to dismiss Eva

- Conduct in violation of the Supreme Court verdict on former Speaker Mohamed Nasheed's no-confidence motion

- Prioritizing the personal stake shared with Nasheed

- Violation to the declaration made with MDP upon her exit from the party

Eva challenged the allegations of her conduct, asserting that she did not violate the Supreme Court verdict or the Maldives Constitution. She also stated that the sittings she chaired were those for which Parliament's Secretary General, Fathimath Niusha, had explicitly requested her presence in writing.

Eva added that she stopped presiding as chair once the Parliament's Secretariat did not make any further requests for her to do so.

The outgoing Deputy Speaker noted that Nasheed's no-confidence motion at the parliament had proceeded in her presence, despite the Supreme Court's verdict stipulating that any other member can only preside as chair in sittings for which the Deputy Speaker had recused.

"Anyone willing to probe what transpired that day would understand who actually violated Supreme Court's order," she said.

Eva further said that she refrained from responding to MDP's allegations that she was protecting her uncle, Nasheed. She also reminded the then President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih was a relative of hers in the same sense as Nasheed.

"[President Solih] is my brother, both from the paternal and maternal sides. I have never resorted for personal attacks in the face of discord, and neither have I prioritized between the powerful brother and the powerless one, neither have I prioritized the influential brother over the non-influential one. I had always prioritized and upheld my principles in all of these," Eva said.

In her response to MDP's claim of her breaching the party's declaration, Eva stated that, in her capacity as the Deputy Speaker, she should not be identified solely by her political party.

Eva said that MDP was attempting to remove her through the party's internal whip line.

She said she was being dismissed because she called out the incompetency and arrogance of the outgoing government.

Additionally, she said that the party took steps to remove her once she began highlighting the misconduct of the former government. This included pointing out the inaction by then President Solih on the MMPRC scandal for three years and the revelation of the ventilator scandal from the audit conducted in response to the resolution she had submitted.

The outgoing Deputy Speaker said she was being removed as punishment after MDP faced defeat in the recent presidential election.

"Truth is that the [former] government opposed me, and I had opposed them. This is punishment for advocating against them," she added.

Besides this, Eva had highlighted the achievements she and Mohamed Nasheed achieved in their tenure as Deputy Speaker and Speaker respectively, which included;

1. Salary deduction from absentee members

2. Execution of practice parliament

3. The highest number of trainings for parliament staff conducted during their tenure

4. Introduction of live broadcast by incorporating sign language

5. Expansion of parliament's live broadcast via YouTube

6. Provision of adequate opportunities to minority parties

Eva said that she considers her commitment to combat corruption and extensive work in the parliament as victories.

"Different people gauge success differently. I consider it as a victory that there was never any doubt about the North-Galolhu MP in terms of integrity," Eva added.

After concluding her statement, Eva officially submitted her resignation to the Parliament Secretariat during Sunday's sitting, following which she left the chambers.

In a recent development, Parliament Speaker Aslam announced that a session has been scheduled for Sunday evening to appoint the new Deputy Speaker.

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