Parliament's SG proposes potential solutions for no-confidence motion dispute

The Parliament's Secretary General Fathimath Niusha has presented the Supreme Court with potential avenues for resolving the issue surrounding the no-confidence motion against Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed.

The main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) initiated a no-confidence motion against Nasheed on October 9, with 49 MDP MPs backing the motion. However, multiple sessions intended for hearing the motion were canceled due to Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla's absence due to illness, leading to legal action by the MDP to expedite the proceedings.

In a Supreme Court hearing held today, Niusha outlined four potential solutions within the parliament system. She suggested that the General Committee of the Parliament can make necessary amendments to the Parliament Rules under its Rule 108. Additionally, she suggested that a member of parliament could introduce a resolution to amend the rules of parliament, and members could also initiate a motion for the same purpose.

While Rule 250 of the Parliament Rules provides a procedure to follow when faced with an issue not covered by the rules, Niusha pointed out that this is another potential avenue for resolution. Explaining further, Niusha said Rule 250 specifies that if an unaddressed matter arises, the first step is to explore whether Parliament's decisions and current practices offer a solution. If no such solution is found, standard legislative practices in presidential countries can be considered.

In the 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.