Opposition turns attention to oust deputy speaker

Days after filing a censure motion against parliament speaker Abdulla Maseeh, opposition lawmakers have now turned attention towards ousting his deputy Moosa Manik, it has emerged.

Similar to the censure motion against Maseeh, reliable sources told Avas that the efforts to oust Manik is also headed by main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) lawmakers and the MP faction loyal to ousted ruling party leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

A lawmaker on condition of anonymity told Avas that a few MDP MPs had approached lawmakers to back the motion against the axed opposition member.

"We didn't sign it. But they've already approached a few MPs," the lawmaker revealed.

Manik had fallen out with MDP and was subsequently dismissed from the party for breaking a party whip line during a parliamentary vote. The outspoken lawmaker has since continued to heavily criticism the MDP leadership.

Parliament meanwhile has tabled the no confidence motion against speaker Maseeh on March 27.

Opposition parties have claimed that the motion was filed with signatures of 26 lawmakers while only 15 is the required number.

In addition to MDP, religiously conservative Adhaalath Party (AP), the motion has been backed by a few government lawmakers loyal to Gayoom and former government coalition partner Jumhoory Party (JP).

Government meanwhile had expressed confidence of defeating the motion which requires a simple parliament majority.

Government lawmakers had also alleged that the politically motivated motion was designed for the personal political gain of a few.