Majority of the parliament members of main-ruling party, Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) have called for the resignation of the Fisheries Minister, Zaha Waheed.
MDP's parliament members have criticised the ministers of other parties of the coalition, including Zaha. She represents the Maldives Reform Movement (MRM) founded by the former president Maumoon Abdul Qayyoom.
The Gavaaidhu Committee of the Parliament studied the issue of the government failing to develop guidelines under the Fisheries Act within the timeframe stipulated in the Act. As per the committee, Minister Zaha has not fulfilled her responsibilities. Debating on the report submitted by the Gavaaidhu Committee, several members of MDP called for the resignation of minister Zaha. Numerous members said if Minister Zaha is unable to fulfil her responsibilities, a no-confidence motion must to be cast against the minister.
MP of Feydhoo Mohamed Nihad said MDP has a broad vision for the fisheries sector, and pointed out that MDP made several pledges to the country's fishermen during the presidential and parliamentary election. Despite the fact that the act stipulates that guidelines are established, there is a delay in developing the guidelines and neither has the Fisheries Minister provided any valid reason for the delay and nor has she shared the information with the President’s Office and the parliament.
Yasir Abdul Latheef representing Kulhudhuffushi Uthuru constituency said only the previous government of MDP was able to do something for the fisheries sector. However, the Act is no longer being implemented properly, said Yasir.
“It clearly reveals that she [Minister Zaha Waheed] has neglected to fulfil her responsibilities,” said Yasir.
MP of Ungoofaaru constituency Mohamed Waheed said President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih shared a vision of fisheries sector at a forum held at Gdh. Thinadhoo and the bill passed by the parliament gives legal powers to fulfil that vision.
“Not being able to fulfil the responsibilities required from the minister by law is not being able to fulfil her responsibilities. She must resign immediately, for not being able to fulfil responsibilities and not being able to develop the guidelines. She does not qualify to be in such a position [as minister]”, said MP Waheed.
A decision on what action will be taken based on the report of the Gavaaidhu Committee is now pending. No members have thus far proposed for a no-confidence motion against Minister Zaha. However, the current politics in the parliament indicate a no-confidence vote will be sought against the minister.