Parliament seeks Supreme Court opinion in AG’s no-confidence motion

Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed presides over a parliamentary sitting. (Photo/People's Majlis)

Speaker Mohamed Nasheed said Wednesday he has decided to seek counsel from the Supreme Court, following a difference in opinion after the Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath sent his response to the no-confidence motion against him in writing, instead of appearing before the Parliament.

The Parliament’s General Purposes Committee had decided to give Riffath 30 minutes of talk time to make his case in the no-confidence against him. He was set to appear before the Parliament Wednesday.

However, instead of making an in-person appearance, he sent his response in writing instead.

After a short recess as, political leaders decided on how to proceed, Speaker Nasheed said the parties failed to reach a consensus on the matter.

Nasheed said that the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), People’s National Congress (PNC), and Maldives National Party (MNP) believed Riffath was mandated by the constitution to present his response in person.

He said that the General Purposes Committee had given Riffath the 30 minutes to make his case because the constitution did not provide any other recourse.

“I want the Supreme Court to decide on the letter of the constitution and the spirit. I cannot continue with a no-confidence motion against a government minister in violation of the constitution and proper procedure,” he said.

Nasheed said he believed in seeking an expert opinion in instances of difference in opinion.

According to parliamentary regulations, seeking a legal opinion in a matter must be put to vote at the parliament floor.