Qasim likens impeachment attempt to ‘kicking’ the people’s will

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu meets Jumhoory Party (JP)'s leader Qasim Ibrahim on December 20, 2023. (Photo/President's Office)

Jumhoory Party (JP)’s leader Qasim Ibrahim say any attempt to impeach President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu would be equal to “kicking” the will of the Maldivian people.

On Monday, a lawmaker from the main opposition MDP confirmed Sun that the party, in partnership with the Democrats, had gathered enough signatures to file an impeachment motion against President Muizzu.

But they have yet to submit the motion, and neither party has given a specific date on which they plan to do so.

In a statement on X on Wednesday, Qasim, whose party is aligned with the ruling PPM-PNC coalition, called on the opposition for an “unconditional” cease in its impeachment efforts.

He said that impeaching President Muizzu without just cause would go against the will of the people.

“Impeaching the President of the Republic or even attempting to do so without any justification, with the intent of political retaliation and to come to power themselves, is nothing more than kicking the will of the people,” he said.

“It is especially unacceptable coming from a parliamentary assembly that is close to the end of its term.”

Qasim said that an impeachment vote must only be taken if there is proper justification for it.

He accused MDP of misusing its majority in the Parliament to submit the motion just to harass the government.

He added that it goes against constitutional standards and democratic values, and that it will cause nothing but damage.

“So far, President Dr. Muizzu has been doing nothing but achieving progress for the people and this country,” he said.

Qasim also described the move to reappoint the three cabinet ministers who did not pass the approval vote in Parliament on Monday as “very valuable” work “to uphold constitutional standards.”

The Parliament’s standing orders was recently amended to lower the number of votes required to pass an impeachment motion.

Which means that the MDP and Democrats, which have 56 votes between them, can impeach the president if they wish.

The Attorney General’s Office has contested the amendment with the Supreme Court, arguing that the Parliament did not have the authority to make the change.