Former President of Maldives and MP for Macchangolhi Central constituency Mohamed Nasheed has been elected as the Speaker of the 19th Parliament.
During the first sitting of the newly elected parliament held on Tuesday night, Nasheed’s name was nominated as Speaker by Hithadhoo North MP Mohamed Aslam. Mahibadhoo MP Ahmed Tariq nominated the name of Maamigili MP Gasim Ibrahim, who recently headed the 18th Parliament.
In the secret vote that followed, Nasheed received 67 out of 85 votes while Gasim received 17 votes in his favor. One vote was declared as void.
Eva Abdulla, MP of Galolhu North constituency was nominated nd elected as the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament. No other names were submitted for the post.
The votes were counted by a five-member committee which consisted of one member from each political party and one independent member.
While Nasheed has been elected as the Speaker, he has previously stated that he had no interest in the position. Two members of MDP, Mohamed Aslam and Hassan Afeef were pursuing the position, causing rifts among the party with Nasheed backing Aslam and President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih supporting Afeef as Speaker nominee. However, the two members gave up the opportunity to Nasheed in order to avoid disunity among the party.
For first time in the archipelago's history, Nasheed becomes the first former president to serve as speaker of the parliament.