Main ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s Parliamentary Group (PG) has voted no-confidence in Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Mohamed Maleeh Jamaal, while rejecting to back a dismissal motion against Home Minister Imran Abdulla.
The two items were among the five on the agenda for its 64th meeting held on Sunday morning.
The no-confidence motion against the home minister was submitted to the People’s Majlis in late October, with the signatures of 11 lawmakers representing the opposition coalition which comprises of former ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and the People’s National Congress (PNC); two independent members signed the motion as well.
While the parliament’s general-purpose committee voted to move ahead with the motion last Monday, Speaker Mohamed Nasheed had announced that they will do so after completing the work on the proposed state budget for 2021.
The motion notes that during a radio talk show at Dhivehi Raajjeyge Adu, the minister had given a different recount on the murder of former parliamentarian Dr. Afrasheem Ali, as well as revealed that documents regarding the ex-MP’s murder and journalis Ahmed Rilwan’s murder were inaccurate, during the May Day protest.
He is to have claimed that the documents on evidence in connection to Rilwan’s murder were confiscated by the Maldives Police Service, while speaking at a parliamentary sitting on October 21.
The minister also came under fire for derogatory and sexist remarks made in connection to the safari sexual assault case, recently.
This led to public criticism, with some questioning his responsibility as a cabinet minister and claiming that women’s right cannot be ensured with him remaining at a ministerial position.
However, Imran had later apologized for the remarks, claiming that they were “misunderstood”.
While Article 101 (a) of the Maldivian Constitution states that “a motion expressing want of confidence in a member of the Cabinet may be moved in the People’s Majlis, under the hand of at least ten members, specifying the reasons”, clause (b) states that the ministers in question must be provided a 14-day period to respond.
Imran was given the required 14-day notice in late October.
The no-confidence motion against the communications minister was submitted to the parliamentary group, with 10 signatures, on November 15 by South-Galolhu constituency MP Mickail Naseem.
The motion notes the Communications Authority's failure to compile any of the regulations mandated under the Telecommunication Law throughout Maleeh's two-year period as the minister.
Stressing that any such delays in doing so “negatively impacts the country and its citizens”, the motion says that Maleeh has been “uncooperative”.
Further noting the public’s calls for his dismissal, the motion against the communications minister said that failure to do so will lead to a lack of trust in the party.
A motion of want of confidence concerning a member of the cabinet shall be passed by a majority of the total membership of the People’s Majlis.
The parliamentary group is to forward its decision to the president.
Shortly after the MDP PG revealed the decision, Maleeh tweeted that the party is working to "snatch" power by removing ministers representing other parties in the coalition. He cautioned that "super majority can change to super minority".
Maleeh was appointed on a slot allocated to coalition partner Jumhooree Party (JP), while Home Minister Imran is on an Adhaalath Party slot; he is the leader of the party.