Majority leader: We have 60 MPs who want to unseat Nasheed

MDP parliamentary group leader, North Hithadhoo MP Mohamed Aslam speaks to press on June 20, 2023. (Photo/People's Majlis)

The leader of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s parliamentary group, North Hithadhoo MP Mohamed Aslam states there are 60 MPs who believe in the loss of confidence in the Parliament’s speaker Mohamed Nasheed, and wish to remove him as speaker.

MDP submitted the no-confidence motion against Nasheed with the endorsement of 54 MPs earlier this month. Nasheed claims the MPs endorsed the motion under duress, because they had “no other choice”.

When questioned about Nasheed’s remarks at a press conference by the MDP parliamentary group Tuesday, Aslam said that 41 MPs had signed the motion on the spot, during the parliamentary group meeting held to pass the decision to submit the motion.

“We collected the signatures of 54 MPs within six hours. They came and signed it of their own free will. I didn’t see anyone sign it under any sort of influence. And six more MPs called and told us they would vote to pass the motion,” he said.

Aslam said that after Nasheed made the remarks, he checked to see if anyone had faced pressure to sign the motion, and that no one had mentioned anything of the sort.

When asked whether MDP was considering going to the courts to solve the current deadlock, Aslam responded that given the Parliament is one of the three powers of the state, if would be “sad” to go to the courts to solve an issue at the Parliament.

Aslam said that rather than going to court, MDP was working to resolve the issue from within the Parliament itself.

However, we are also ready to go to the Supreme Court, if necessary, he said.

MDP has filed no-confidence motions against both Nasheed and Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla – who left the party last month. Both have recused themselves from presiding over sittings pending the outcome of the motions against them. Vilufushi MP Hassan Afeef had filled in for three consecutive days – the maximum allowed under the Parliament’s standing orders. No other MP has been selected to preside sittings since then.