Committee probes Nasheed for alleged infringement of Parliament’s privileges

Central Machangolhi MP Mohamed Nasheed. (Photo/People's Majlis)

The Parliament’s Privileges and Ethics Committee has been charged with reviewing an allegation the former Speaker Mohamed Nasheed infringed on the Parliament’s privileges.

The allegation was made by Addu Maradhoo MP Ibrahim Shareef (Mavota) on June 19 – back when MDP submitted its original no-confidence motion against Nasheed, the party’s former leader, who left the party to form Democrats.

The MDP had originally submitted no-confidence motions against both Nasheed and Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla, his cousin and fellow Democrats member, 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.

Maradhoo MP Ibrahim Shareef. (Photo/People's Majlis)

But both Nasheed and Eva had recused themselves from chairing sittings citing the motions, creating a weeks-long deadlock.

Back then, MDP accused Nasheed of infringing in the Parliament’s privileges and deliberately impeding the functioning of the Parliament.

But the MDP withdrew the motions in September, while the party was engaged in negotiations with the Democrats for the presidential runoff election.

At Monday’s sitting, Speaker Mohamed Aslam, who replaced Nasheed after he resigned earlier in November in face of a second no-confidence motion, said that parliamentarians hadn’t shared any opinions on what to do with the allegation.

He forwarded the case to the Parliament’s Privileges and Ethics Committee for review.

Following the decision, Hulhudhoo MP Ilyas Labeeb, a member of Democrats, raised a point of order and said the case cannot be sent to the committee.

He said the case hasn’t been officially submitted to the Parliament.

But Aslam said the case had been previously presented and debated on.

Speaker Mohamed Aslam chairs a parliamentary sitting on November 14, 2023.

“It was debated on previously. We tabled this again today because the debate wasn’t concluded back then,” he said.

MDP submitted the second no-confidence motion against Nasheed with the endorsement of 49 MPs on October 9.

It was initially tabled for October 26th, but 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.

This prompted the MDP to lodge a constitutional case with the Supreme Court, which, on November 9, found the Secretariat’s decision to halt the motion unconstitutional.

Nasheed resigned a few days later, on November 13.