Speaker's no-confidence motion continues to face delays as sessions get canceled

Today's parliament session, which was set to discuss the no-confidence motion against Speaker Mohamed Nasheed, faced its fourth consecutive cancellation due to the illness of Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla.

The main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) initiated the no-confidence motion against Nasheed on October 9, garnering support from 49 MDP MPs. Despite official notices sent on October 12, the sessions scheduled for Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday were canceled due to the Deputy Speaker's 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.

Frustrated with the delays, the MDP is now pursuing legal action, seeking Supreme Court intervention to expedite proceedings. In a petition submitted to the Supreme Court, MDP 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.

The MDP had attempted to impeach Nasheed earlier in June this year. However, the motion was later withdrawn ahead of the second round of the presidential election.