Parliament tables censure motion against speaker

Parliament has tabled an old censure motion against speaker Abdulla Maseeh for Thursday.

After the opposition coalition in March last year had filed a second motion to unseat Maseeh, the government had exploited its majority in parliament to engineer an amendment to the parliament rules of procedure raising the number of lawmaker signatures required to file a censure motion against the speaker and his deputy from 15 to 42.

Undeterred, the opposition had filed a third censure motion a few months later against Maseeh with 45 lawmakers which included ten lawmakers from the ruling party.

However, the ruling party had filed a constitutional dispute case asking the Supreme Court to disqualify MPs who defect or violate party whip-lines and or are formally removed from their respective party.

The top court ruled in favour of the government and the lawmakers were later disqualified while the parliament voided the censure motion.

However, after the Supreme Court the day before reinstated all 12 lawmakers, the parliamentary general committee voted to declare the motion filed on July 3 as valid.

AVAS understands that the parliament secretariat has now tabled the motion for Thursday's sitting.

The new development came after the parliament had already tabled the fresh censure motion against the Speaker on November 8.

The opposition is expected to succeed in its bid as only a simple majority - 43 votes are required to unseat the speaker.

Opposition has urged Maseeh to step-down 'gracefully' before the vote.