SC accepts MDP's petition on no-confidence motion against Speaker

The Supreme Court has accepted the constitutional petition filed by the main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) seeking to identify a way forward to proceed with a no-confidence motion against Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed.

The MDP initiated the no-confidence motion against Nasheed on October 9, with support from 49 MDP MPs. Official notices regarding the motion were issued to Nasheed and other MPs on October 12, with Sunday's parliamentary session scheduled for its discussion. However, the motion could not proceed on both Sunday and Monday due to the absence of Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla, who had informed the Parliament she could not attend the sessions due to illness. As per Parliament rules, the Deputy-Speaker of Parliament is responsible for presiding over a session in which the impeachment of the Speaker is pending. Given the impediments in progressing with Nasheed's removal, the MDP decided to take the matter to court.

MDP lawyer Anas Abdul Sattar confirmed that the Supreme Court had accepted the party's petition and granted permission to file the case.

MDP's petition seeks a ruling that, in accordance with Rule 205 (e) of the Parliament's Rules of Procedure, the Parliament is obligated to adhere to Rule 44 in case of the Deputy Speaker's absence from presiding over a sitting with a pending impeachment motion.

In addition, while Rule 205 (d) states that if an impeachment motion has been moved against the Speaker, any other matter moved by the parliament at that time may be debated or decided only after a decision has been made on the impeachment motion, MDP has also requested that the Parliament is not allowed to schedule any other session until after deciding on the motion to remove the Speaker from office.