Privilege motion moved against AG Riffath

A privilege motion has been filed in Parliament today alleging that Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath had acted in a way that infringed on the privilege and dignity of Parliament when he responded in writing to a no-confidence motion against him.

A no-confidence motion was moved against the AG by the opposition following the recent International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) decision regarding the territorial dispute between the Maldives and Mauritius. The privilege motion was moved by Faresmathoda MP Hussain Mohamed Latheef, stating that the AG had last Wednesday challenged the privileges of the Parliament through his written response to the no-confidence motion.

Citing the Maritime Zones of Maldives Act, Hussain said the law states that any alterations to the Maldives' EEZ can only be made by submitting the matter to the Parliament. However, Hussain said in his written statement the AG had stated that parliamentary approval would only be necessary if there were changes within 12 nautical miles from the baselines of the country.

“There is no legal basis for the Attorney General’s view that there is no need for parliamentary approval in this matter. It cannot be seen as anything but an encroachment on the prerogative and powers of the entire Parliament,” Hussain said.

The motion was rejected by 48 votes. Twenty members voted in favor of debating the issue.