Nasheed: Tendered resignation to pave way for democratic process

Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed on April 11, 2021. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Former president Mohamed Nasheed says he resigned from his post as the parliament speaker on Monday to pave way to democratic process.

Nasheed resigned as the parliament speaker on Monday after stalling the no-confidence motion filed against him by ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) from proceeding for days.

Speaking at a press conference after his resignation – Nasheed, who is the parliamentarian for Central Mahchangoalhi constituency, said he tendered his resignation to pave for democratic process, which is a practice he has always believed in.

“Various people are explaining democratic process to me in various ways. When you think about collective bargaining and organized political activity, you will realize the additional horizons opened for us and the opportunities for more activities we are entitled to by the new constitution. I am very happy about this,” he said.

Nasheed remarked that he believes the current 19th parliament to be the most successfully and most democratically run parliament to date. He said this was a result of collaborative work between all lawmakers, political parties and the parliament secretariate.

“There has not been a parliament which carried out more work than the current parliament since the new constitution came into force. It is a great happiness for me,” he said.

“A parliament that ran nicely without closing, or soldiers entering,” he added.

Nasheed here is referring to the events which unfolded during the no-confidence motion against former speaker Abdulla Maseeh. After Maseeh’s no-confidence motion was initiated, lawmakers who signed the motion lost their seats in light of switch in the political party they were elected to the parliament. Soldiers entered the parliament and forcibly removed those lawmakers.

However, Maseeh ended up tending his resignation later on.

“This parliament, if you consider without prejudice, is the parliament run most democratically in the Maldives to date,” he stressed.

The MDP had originally submitted no-confidence motions against both Nasheed and Eva earlier this year. The motion against Eva was submitted with the endorsement on 50 MPs in May, and the motion against Nasheed followed, with the endorsement of 54 MPs, in June.

But the MDP withdrew the motions in September, while the party was engaged in negotiations with the Democrats – the party to which both Nasheed and Eva belong – for the presidential runoff election.

The party resubmitted a no-confidence motion against Nasheed in October with the signatures of 49 MPs. Despite being tabled multiple times last week, the motion had remained stymied after Eva called in sick all through that week.

The Parliament’s Secretariat had decided that only the Deputy Speaker can chair sittings in the event of a no-confidence motion against the Speaker.

The MDP lodged a constitutional case with the Supreme Court, which last week found the Secretariat’s decision to halt the motion unconstitutional.

The motion was tabled yesterday, however, the Democrats, which hold the presidency in the parliament, thwarted the motion. The motion was again tabled for this evening, however, Nasheed resigned ahead of the sitting.