DRP demands Nasheed’s resignation

Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed wears a mask to protect from the spread of the new coronavirus as he presides over a parliamentary sitting on May 26, 2020. (Photo/People's Majlis)

Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), on Saturday, demanded the resignation of Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed, accusing him of using the Parliament as a political tool and undermining the authority of the government.

DRP leader Abdulla Jabir, who serves as the parliamentary representative for Kaashidhoo constituency, in a letter addressed to Nasheed, said that he had forced parliamentarians to commit “a very deplorable act” with his decision to resume parliamentary sittings despite the city-wide lockdown in the capital.

“Your decision to challenge the government and hold sittings at the Parliament amid the state of public health emergency which has been declared in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown on Male’, and in doing so, forcing the members of the People’s Majlis who are required to lead the people by example to commit a very deplorable act, is a crime,” reads the letter.

Jabir said that Nasheed was using the Parliament as a political hub at a time when the government needed its support the most.

“And since, judging by your present actions, I do not believe you to be capable of undertaking the duties and responsibilities of the Speaker of the Majlis, I call for your immediate resignation from the position of Speaker of the People’s Majlis,” said Jabir in his letter.

The Parliament had switched to virtual sittings in late March, but switched back to sittings at the legislative house last week for deliberations on extending the term of incumbent councilors to prevent a legal vacuum once the their term expires on June 3.

The Whole House Sub Committee, on Friday night, voted in favor of amending the Constitution to add two clauses to Article 231 to extend the term of incumbent councilors for a transitional period until local council elections can be held, and a bill to declare the responsibilities and powers of interim councilors.