Vice president Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed, in the first public response to his party’s attempt to impeach him, said he only fears Allah, and not the People’s Majlis or its MPs.
The no confidence motion submitted to the parliament today by 61 MPs is a motion submitted by MPs of the ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) and their associates, and not by the people, Jameel said in a statement publicized on Twitter.
“It is a violation of the people’s rights when a party or an organization, at their whim, without any legal basis, removes an officer directly elected by them,” he said.
PPM MPs have publicly accused Jameel of incompetence and disloyalty. The ruling party is seeking to replace Jameel with tourism minister Ahmed Adeeb.
Jameel, who has remained silent on the charges against him, today accused PPM MPs of greed. They have arbitrarily amended the constitution for their personal interests, he said.
The parliament last week passed the first amendment to the constitution with overwhelming multi-party consensus to set new age limits of 30 – 65 years for the presidency and vice presidency. Adeeb is now 33. The constitution previously said candidates must be 35 years of age.
The opposition’s backing for the constitutional amendment was widely perceived to be part of a deal made in exchange for jailed ex-president Mohamed Nasheed’s transfer to house arrest.
The parliament yesterday approved changed to its standing orders to fast-track the process of impeaching the vice president. The new rules states the parliament can vote to remove the vice president without an investigation by a select committee.
Below is the full translation of Jameel’s statement:
“The no confidence motion submitted to the People’s Majlis against me today is a no confidence motion submitted by the PPM parliamentary group and their associates. I say this because Article 4 of the Constitution states that all the powers of the state of the Maldives are derived from, and remain with, the citizens. The vice president is elected through a direct vote of the Maldivian public. It is a violation of the people’s rights when a party or an organization, at their whim, without any legal basis, removes an officer directly elected by them.
Those who amended the constitution, in recent days, said the amendment was brought with the best of intentions and for the good of the nation. Their intent and motivation is now clear to the Maldivian people. The constitution, by the will of the people, dictates all the legal principles and the laws by which the Maldivian state must be governed. But, it is now very clear that all these principles, and the checks on power are being changed for a particular individual or in the interests of a certain group.
The premeditated manner and the motivation behind the undermining of the powers of the people and the changes to the governing structure are now apparent, the deception is clear. Although all the powers of the state are derived from the citizens, it is now clear to the Maldivian people that an individual or an organization will use their powers to abrogate a decision made through the direct vote of the people. There is no reason to think they will not do so again.
In this holy month of Ramadan, the Maldivian people and the nation are witnessing the greed of a few. The leaders of this attempt to undermine the people’s powers must remind themselves of the powers of the almighty and omnipotent Allah. I seek strength from Him. I only fear Him, not the People’s Majlis or the Members of Parliament.
I would like to remind the Maldivian people and myself of Verse 46 of Surah Al-Baqarah: “And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to Allah].”
The constitution states that the vice president must be given a 14-day notice and the right to answer the charges before the resolution is put to a vote.
Minivan News was unable to contact Jameel at the time of going to press.
Jameel left to Sri Lanka after President Abdulla Yameen authorized a medical leave. A senior PPM MP told Minivan News yesterday that Jameel was due to return three days ago, but instead departed for the UK without informing the president’s office.
The MP said President Abdulla Yameen has asked the vice president to return to the Maldives and answer to the party’s parliamentary group about his impeachment.
“We have tried contacting him repeatedly to ask him to meet with the parliamentary group. But he has not responded. We are trying to bring our problems to him and trying to find a mutual solution,” said the PPM MP.
Some opposition politicians claim President Abdulla Yameen is fatally ill and wants a more loyal deputy ahead of a life threatening surgery. The government has denied rumours of the president’s health.