MDP submits no-confidence motion against Eva with 50 signatures

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

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) submitted a no submitting a no-confidence motion against Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla on Monday, with the endorsement of 50 lawmakers.

The 50 lawmakers who endorsed the motion include 49 lawmakers from MDP, and Nolhivaram MP Mohamed Nasheed Abdulla, an independent.

The MDP parliamentary group had voted in favor of submitting a no-confidence motion against Eva on Monday morning, but they had begun gathering endorsements for the motion, a day back.

MDP gathered 22 signatures for a no-confidence motion against Eva on Sunday - the minimum requirement for the submission of a no-confidence motion against the Deputy Speaker.

The motion comes as the MDP accuses Eva of thwarting a no-confidence motion submitted against Speaker Mohamed Nasheed, her cousin and fellow Democrats member.

The no-confidence motion against Nasheed, which was initially tabled for October 26th, had remained stymied after Eva called in sick all through that week.

The Parliament’s Secretariat had decided that only the Deputy Speaker can chair sittings in the event of a no-confidence motion against the Speaker.

The MDP lodged a constitutional case with the Supreme Court, which last week found the Secretariat’s decision to halt the motion unconstitutional.

The motion was then re-scheduled to Sunday.

 But Vilufushi MP Hassan Afeef, who chaired the sitting, rejected the motion, and instructed the MDP to re-submit it, agreeing with members of his party Democrats, that the it did not fit the standards for a motion.

The Parliament’s Secretariat refused to back the decision and rescheduled the motion for the afternoon.

But Eva, who chaired the sitting, said she did not believe the motion could be processed given the presidency’s earlier dismissal of the case.

Following the decision, the MDP-led Privileges and Ethics Committee decided that both Eva and Afeef had violated the privileges afforded to lawmakers.

It also recommended to the General Purposes Committee, that Democrats members be barred from chairing sittings to process the no-confidence motion against Nasheed.

The General Purposes Committee sought counsel from Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath, who said that lawmakers who have conflict of interest in the matter, cannot chair the sittings.