Speaker no-confidence motion scheduled for hearing on June 5

The Secretariat of the Majlis had announced that a no-confidence motion against Speaker of the House Abdulla Shahid has been scheduled to be heard on June 5, the day after the parliament reconvenes, reports Haveeru.

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) passed the motion on April 17 alleging that Shahid had been making decisions relating to significant parliamentary issues without discussing them first with various political parties.

The motion was signed by 27 of the MDP’s then 32 representatives in the Majlis. The MDP currently has 31 members in the house after Shifag ‘Histo’ Mufeed defected to the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).

The party claimed that Shahid had been acting outside of his mandate by deciding to suspend certain parliament regulations, whilst opting to follow others that were alleged to be to his personal benefit.

Haveeru reports that the Parliament’s general committee must now decide on the number of MPs that will be involved in that debate, the extent of that debate and the time allowed for the debate.

The speaker has been targeted by MDP protesters following the motion, with large groups gathering outside Shahid’s residence to call for his resignation on April 21.


AG Suood ‘finds’ letter from speaker of parliament requesting former AG to dissolve a case of MP Nazim

Attorney General (AG) Husnu Suood has claimed to have discovered a letter signed by the Speaker of the Parliament and Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Abdulla Shahid requesting a former attorney general dissolve a case against Deputy Speaker and Deputy Leader of the People’s Alliance (PA) MP Ahmed Nazim, who has recently been charged for corruption and bribery.

Suood revealed he had the letter at a Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) event at Dharubaaruge last night.

Press Secretary for the President Mohamed Zuhair explained that Speaker of Parliament Abdulla Shahid was the executive secretary for the former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom when he sent the letter.

“The letter was sent to the former attorney general, and Suood managed to find it in his office,” said Zuhair. “It was a case related to 500 [electricity] house meters and one other case, both related to the State Electric Company (STELCO).”

Zuhair further said that People’s Alliance party (PA) leader and MP Abdulla Yamin was the Chairman of STELCO at the time.

“The government will investigate all cases of corruption and will send the matter to the Prosecutor General’s office and present those people before the judges,” he said. “If the lower courts find them innocent, we will take it to the higher courts, to the Supreme Court and if necessary, to the international courts.”

Shahid denied the claims and said he had never sent such a letter to a former attorney general.

“I was not even in a position to send a letter to the former attorney general requesting someone’s case be dissolved,” he said. “When people make allegations like this, they should define it so the accused knows how to respond.”

Nazim did not respond to Minivan News at time of press.


MDP call for no confidence-motion against speaker

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) will put forward a no-confidence motion against the speaker, Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Abdulla Shahid, spokesperson for MDP’s parliamentry group Mohamed Shifaz said today.

Parliament was cancelled again today because of chaos in the chamber. Police blockaded streets around the parliament and presidential palace in the wake of running protests, while a political gathering at the artificial beach this evening erupted into violence and was dispersed by police using tear gas.

”We do not believe that a man under such pressure can do anything correctly,” Shifaz said, accusing Shahid of siding with the opposition coalition ”most of the time”.

”He adds things to the agenda against the procedures of parliament,” Shifaz said. ”If there is a bill that makes things difficult for the government, that is the first thing he wants to discuss.”

Shifaz said the MDP MPs were “still unsure” about their security and safety inside the parliament chamber after yesterday’s brawl, and had sought reassurance from the speaker.

In a letter posted on parliament’s website, Shahid said he had requested that police investigate the incident, and adding that “what happened inside the chamber was not acceptable behaviour for a parliamentary debate”.

In addition, he said he had ”no pressure on me from any political party. I call on all the political parties to cooperate with each other.”

Shahid insisted he “had control of the parliament”, and said he did not wish to comment on the no-confidence motion reportedly being drafted against him. Instead, he called on MPs to cooperate and continue work.

DRP MP Ali Waheed, Ahmed Ilham, and Vice president Umar Naseer did not respond to Minivan News at time of press.