MDP issues three-line whip to dismiss Eva, defend govt ministers

Combined file photos of (from L-R) Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath, Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla, and Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid. (Sun Photo)

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s parliamentary group has issued a three-line whip to vote in favor of the no-confidence motion against Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla, and against similar motions submitted against Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath and Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid.

The main ruling party’s PG leader, North Hithadhoo MP Mohamed Aslam told Sun the parliamentary group passed the three-line whip on Monday.

According to Aslam, the three-line whip was issued with the unanimous consensus of all MPs who attended the meeting.

“A three-line whip was issued during the PG meeting today to dismiss Eva and to prevent the dismissal of two government ministers,” he said.

MDP Parliamentary Group Leader, North Hithadhoo MP Mohamed Aslam. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

The move to dismiss Eva - who was elected the Deputy Speaker with the backing of MDP’s supermajority in 2019, had come after she and 11 other MPs loyal to the MDP’s leader Mohamed Nasheed left the party on May 17. Another top MP from Nasheed’s faction, Central Henveiru MP Ali Azim had been expelled from the party the day before.

The 13 MPs are working on registering a new political party, named ‘The Democrats’.

Meanwhile, the motions against Riffath and Shahid were submitted by the opposition alliance, composed of MPs from the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), People’s National Congress (PNC), Jumhoory Party (JP), Maldives National Party (MNP), and the faction that broke from MDP.

The opposition filed the motions accusing the government of failure to act in the best interests of the people in the case that was submitted to the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) over the disputed maritime territory between Maldives and Mauritius.

The opposition alliance holds a press conference at the Parliament on May 11, 2023. (Photo/PPM)

MDP continues to enjoy supermajority at the Parliament with 56 MPs. The Democrats has 13 MPs, the PPM-PNC coalition has eight, MNP has three, and JP has two.

The opposition alliance does not have enough votes to pass the no-confidence motions.

In stark contrast, MDP had submitted the no-confidence motion against Eva with the endorsement of 50 MPs, which is more than the 43 votes needed to dismiss her.