Majlis committee approves secret ballot for no-confidence votes

Parliament’s General Affairs Committee last week approved an amendment to the rules of procedure to conduct no-confidence motions through secret ballot.

The amendment was proposed by Maldivian Democratic Democratic (MDP) MP Mohamed Shifaz after a similar amendment was withdrawn by Independent MP Ahmed Amir.

The MDP-majority committee approved the amendment with four votes in favour and none against, committee chair and Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP for mid-Henveiru Ali Azim told local media. Only five MPs reportedly attended the committee meeting last week.

The amendment to parliament’s standing orders or rules of procedure would have to be approved in a vote at the Majlis floor to become official.

The MDP has submitted no-confidence motions against both Home Minister Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed and President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik.

While a minister can be removed from his post through a simple majority of the 77 MPs in parliament, a two-thirds majority or 52 votes would be needed to impeach a sitting president.