In a dramatic turn of events, the no-confidence motion against theSpeaker of the Parliament, Mohamed Nasheed, has thrown the Maldivian political landscape into chaos. The proceedings, initially scheduled for Tuesday, 31st October 2023, have been marred by the absence of Vice-Speaker Eva Abdullah, raising questions about the constitutional process.
The no-confidence motion, which was brought forward by the opposition party, Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) has been hanging in the balance since last Tuesday. The motion has already been brought forward to the Parliament twice, both times being met with the absence of the Vice-speaker being on leave due to a reported battle with dengue fever.
Since the 14-day notice of the no-confidence motion against Speaker Nasheed expired on 9th of October, the Parliament members of MDP have been trying time and time again to carry on with the case, however, due to the absence of the vice-speaker the motion has yet again been delayed to the upcoming Sunday 5th November, 2023. The delay in this disruption has been causing major issues due to the MDP members of the Parliament insting that the no-confidence motion must be addressed before any other Parliament business can be carried out.
The members of MDP have further escalated the situation by filing a petition in the Supreme Court, challenging the Secretary General of Parliament's decision due to several members believing that the vice-speaker is in fact not too ill to preside over the Parliament session to carry out the motion. The court has accepted the case and scheduled the first hearing for Monday, adding a legal dimension to the ongoing political turmoil.
Key to this dispute is the interpretation of parliamentary rules and the delegation of authority in the absence of the President and Vice-President. The government and MDP have taken differing stances on whether another member can preside in the absence of a Vice-Speaker. While the government asserts that this is not allowed, MDP insists that the Rules of Procedure permit such a transfer of authority.