MP Saleem elected parliament’s deputy speaker

Hoarafushi MP Ahmed Saleem. (File Photo/People's Majlis)

Hoarafushi MP Ahmed Saleem, on Sunday night, has been elected the deputy speaker of the parliament.

The post of the deputy speaker of the parliament became vacant following the resignation of former deputy speaker, North Galolhu MP Eva Abdulla earlier today.

Subsequently, the parliament scheduled a sitting for 8:30pm tonight, to elect a new deputy speaker.

The majority party in the parliament, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) put forth the names of MP Saleem and Kaashidhoo MP Abdulla Jabir for deputy speaker during the sitting. 

MP Jabir’s name was put forth by Thoddoo MP Hassan Shiyan and seconded by Gadhdhoo MP Ahmed Zahir. Although MP Jabir had expressed interest in the post, it was MP Saleem who won the vote taken by MDP’s parliamentary group earlier. 

The secret vote taken to elect a deputy speaker of the parliament was counted by a five-member committee constituted for the purpose. The committee comprised of Mahibadhoo MM Ahmed Thoriq, North Machangolhi MP Mohamed Rasheed, Thulusdhoo MP Ibrahim Naseer, South Henveiru MP Hussain Shaheem and Nolhivaram MP Mohamed Rasheed – who received the unanimous approval of 60 lawmakers.

Sunday night’s secret vote was won by MP Saleem.

A total of 74 lawmakers participated in the vote. MP Saleem received 51 votes while MP Jabir received 23 votes.

MP Eva resigned as deputy speaker at a sitting held on Sunday morning to hear the no-confidence motion filed against her by MDP.

During the sitting, she was granted the opportunity to present her defense; an opportunity she took up.

However, concluding her defense, Eva said she had tendered her resignation.

Shortly afterwards, Parliament Speaker Mohamed Aslam, who presided over the sitting, confirmed he had received Eva’s resignation letter. After reading aloud the letter, Speaker Aslam announced his decision to accept the resignation.

The no-confidence motion against Eva was submitted by MDP with the signatures of 50 lawmakers.

Prior to this, MDP had also filed a no-confidence motion against former speaker Mohamed Nasheed, Eva’s cousin and fellow member of The Democrats. Nasheed tendered his resignation after stalling to motion from proceeding for days.