Committee seeks to bar Eva and Afeef from chairing no-confidence motion

Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla presides over a parliamentary sitting. (Photo/People's Majlis)

The Parliament's Privileges and Ethics Committee has passed a resolution recommending that MPs belonging to the Demcrats not be allowed to preside over the no-confidence motion against The Democrats' founder and Speaker of Parliament, Mohamed Nasheed.

The committee held a meeting today following a complaint filed against Vilufushi MP Hassan Afeef, who presided over today's sitting, alleging that members' privileges had been violated.

Afeef concluded the sitting this morning after accepting the systemic motion taken by The Democrats that MDP's motion to impeach Nasheed does not meet the requirements of a resolution. Afeef ordered MDP to resubmit the motion.

Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla presided over the sitting that was held at noon today with that motion on the agenda once more. She said the Speaker had once dismissed the matter today and therefore, she would not continue the matter today.

The Privileges Committee held a meeting following this and ruled that Afeef and Eva had violated other MPs privileges.

Secondly, MDP MP Ikram Hassan moved that the House Office be informed that members of The Democrats, including Afeef and Eva, cannot preside over the sittings with the motion of no confidence against Nasheed on the agenda due to perceived conflict of interest.

"We cannot do the work in this committee but also this committee's recommendation is to refer it to the General Committee of Parliament and act as soon as possible so that the work of Parliament can continue even today," Raai from the Ethics and Privilege Committee said.

The motion was passed unanimously by the Ethics and Privilege Committee, in which MDP holds the majority.

The recommendation will be sent to the General Committee today, Raai said.

The no-confidence motion against Nasheed was withdrawn between the two rounds of the presidential election after it was not taken up in the last session of parliament.

The motion was moved for the second time with the support and signatures of 49 MPs from MDP. 43 votes are needed for Nasheed to be removed from his position.

The case could not be continued during this session because Eva said she was ill and was absent. When Eva called in sick, the parliamentary administration decided that no one else could preside over the matter as per the rules of the parliament and so the motion could not be taken up.

The MDP filed the case in the Supreme Court, which ruled on Thursday that the case could continue even if Eva was not present.

After the verdict, Eva also called in sick the first sitting which was held today with the no-confidence on the agenda. However, when a second sitting was scheduled, she took over the chair.

In the event that Nasheed, Eva and Afeef also cannot preside over the sitting, the next people to preside will be:

  • Maradhoo MP Ibrahim Shareef
  • Meedhoo MP Ahmed Siyam Mohamed
  • North Hithadhoo MP Mohamed Aslam
  • Maamigili MP Qasim Ibrahim