MDP gathers enough signatures to remove Nasheed

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

Nearly 50 lawmakers have endorsed the no-confidence motion initiated by the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) against Speaker Mohamed Nasheed, in their second attempt to remove the party’s former leader from his post.

MDP’s parliamentary group leader Mohamed Aslam told Sun on Sunday night that the party has gathered 49 signatures so far – enough to pass a no-confidence motion against Nasheed.

He said that more lawmakers, even those from other parties, have expressed their intention of endorsing the motion.

He said the motion will be submitted to the Parliament on Monday.

“We have not been able to reach all our MPs yet. MPs from other parties are also asking to sign it. There’s a lot of support for this,” he said.

Aslam said the MDP wants support from other parties as well.

Earlier on Sunday, Aslam said that lawmakers from MDP had been receiving threatening text messages from Nasheed, seeking to block the motion against him.

He described making “excuses” to block things he does not want to do as Nasheed’s “biggest problem”, adding that it was also the root cause for the lack of confidence in him.

The MDP had originally submitted no-confidence motions against both Nasheed and Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla earlier this year. The motion against Eva was submitted with the endorsement on 50 MPs in May, and the motion against Nasheed followed, with the endorsement of 54 MPs, in June.

But the MDP withdrew the motions in September, while the party was engaged in negotiations with the Democrats – the party to which both Nasheed and Eva belong – for the presidential runoff election.

In a parliamentary group meeting earlier Sunday, the MDP decided to re-submit the no-confidence motion against Nasheed.

According to Aslam, the decision was made with the unanimous consensus of the MPs who attended the meeting.

Shortly after the vote, Nasheed said it would be “difficult” to process another no-confidence motion against him during the current session.

The MDP holds a majority at the 87-member Parliament with 56 MPs. 43 votes are needed to pass the motion.