Aslam to Nasheed: Stop acting like a dictator

MDP parliamentary group leader, North Hithadhoo MP Mohamed Aslam (C) chairs over a Security Services Committee meeting. (File Photo/Sun/Fayaz Moosa)

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s parliamentary group leader Mohamed Aslam states Speaker Nasheed acted in an “extremely autocratic” manner Tuesday, when the Parliament was forced to cut short its sitting.

The Parliament had been scheduled to hear a no-confidence motion submitted by the MDP against Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla on Tuesday. However, Nasheed refused to preside over the sitting, and did not appoint an MP to fill in.

 The Parliament therefore could not hold the sitting.

Expressing concern over the situation, Aslam told Sun that Nasheed was acting in an “extremely autocratic” matter, and was trying to retain his seat “through force”.

He said he will not allow Nasheed to bring the Parliament to a standstill.

“We are planning how to deal with this. He did something that is in blatant violation of the Parliament’s regulations,” he said.

Aslam believes Nasheed failed to fulfill his duties as Speaker, and infringed on the rights of the entire Parliament.

He accused Nasheed of deliberately creating a deadlock.

Parliamentary regulations dictate that the Speaker must appoint an MP to preside over sittings if both the Speaker and Deputy Speaker are unavailable.

However, an MP wasn’t assigned to fill in for Tuesday’s sitting, during which the Parliament had been scheduled to hear the no-confidence motion against Eva.

The Parliament also had to cut short its sitting on Monday, after pro-government MPs protested against the delay in the no-confidence motion against Eva.

The sitting was presided over by Vilufushi MP Hassan Afeef, who usually steps in when both Nasheed and Eva are unavailable. However, a general MP cannot preside over sittings unless authorized by the Speaker.

According to regulations, the Parliament’s General Purposes Committee should have set the debate time for the motion against Eva.

However, committees have not been reappointed based on the changes to the Parliament’s composition after 13 MPs from MDP, including Eva, left the party last month.