MDP warns it will not OK Muizzu’s oath of office if Nasheed remains speaker

MDP Parliamentary Group Leader, North Hithadhoo MP Mohamed Aslam (L) and MDP's then-Leader, Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed (R) . (Sun Photo/Ahmed Aushan Ilyas)

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) – which controls a supermajority at the Parliament – warned on Wednesday that it will not endorse President-elect Dr. Mohamed Muizzu’s oath of office on November 17, if the no-confidence motion they have submitted against Speaker Mohamed Nasheed isn’t called to vote.

In a press conference on Wednesday, MDP’s parliamentary group leader Mohamed Aslam said the Parliament cannot conduct any other work without attending to the no-confidence motion first.

“We ask that you refrain from doing anything while grabbing on to the speakership of the Parliament through sheer force. There are several events ahead. This includes the oath of office of the new president. This is something the Parliament must do. We do not believe this can he held without taking the vote on the 29th,” he said.

Addu Meedhoo MP Rozaina Adam added that the MDP will not endorse the new cabinet either, while “a speaker who has lost confidence” remains at the Parliament.

“We cannot entertain a cabinet proposed after an oath taken in an illegally held sitting,” she said.

The no-confidence motion against Nasheed – MDP’s second attempt to oust its former leader – is scheduled for Sunday.

The MDP parliamentary group convened for a meeting on Wednesday, during which they passed a three-line whip to vote in favor of the motion.

The vote was unanimous.

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.

The recent motion against Nasheed was submitted with the endorsement of 49 MPs on October 9.

The MDP holds a majority at the Parliament, with 56 MPs. 43 votes are required to pass the motion.