Social Affairs Committee fails to call vote dismiss Easa as chair over lack of quorum

Kendhikulhudhoo MP Ahmed Easa. (Photo/People's Majlis)

Parliament’s Social Affairs Committee called an emergency meeting to take a vote to dismiss Kendhikulhudhoo MP Ahmed Easa – who is under investigation for domestic violence - as committee chair on Thursday afternoon, but had to conclude the meeting without a decision due to lack of quorum to conduct the vote.

Parliament’s regulations require the attendance of minimum six members, including committee chair, in nine-member committees when calling votes to dismiss chair or vice chair.

Committee vice chair, Madaveli MP Hussain Firushan told Sun Thursday’s meeting was attended by five members.

Others who attended the meeting in addition to Firushan are; Makunudhoo MP Mohamed Raee, North Machangolhi MP Mohamed Rasheed, Hinnavaru MP Jeehan Mahmood, and Faresmaathoda MP Hussain Mohamed Latheef.

Opening the meeting, Firushan said that Easa’s continued service as committee as chair is unacceptable to members as he is now under criminal investigation, and that a no-confidence motion against him has been submitted to the committee under Article 134 (a) of Parliament’s regulations.

Article 34 (a) states that where minimum one third of a committee find they lack confidence in a committee chair, the Parliament Speaker may be informed of the motion via writing.

Firushan said during the meeting that though there are nine members in the committee, the letter to Parliament Speaker regarding the no-confidence motion against Easa was signed by only three members.

The members who signed the letter are Firushan, Jeehan and Raee.

Article 134 (d) declares that where a no-confidence motion against a committee chair passes with a majority vote of the committee, a vote to elect a chair must be scheduled for the very next meeting.

Therefore, if the committee passes a no-confidence motion against Easa, he will be immediately dismissed.

Easa is accused of violence against his former spouse Asra Naseem (Asu). The violence took place on Tuesday night in the home of Easa, where Asra resides with their son. Easa reportedly hit Asra after a dispute escalated to violence. Witnesses reported seeing her crying as she rushed out of the apartment,

Easa also reportedly threatened to throw their young son out of the balcony.

Asra, who is Vice President Faisal Naseem’s younger sister, received treatment for her injuries from Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital.

She wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday morning that the last 24 hours had been difficult for her and her son.

“The last 24 hours have been difficult for me and my son Looth. We had to experience things I never thought we would face. But by the grace of Allah, both I and my son are fine now,” she said.

Prosecutor General’s Office has filed for an arrest warrant for Easa with the Criminal Court at the request of the police.