Maldives: Opposition readies for impeachment motion against Muizzu
Development comes day after clashes in Parliament over differences in approval of four members of pro-China president's cabinet
The main opposition MDP (Maldivian Democratic Party), which holds a majority in the Maldivian Parliament, is planning to submit a motion to impeach president Mohamed Muizzu, according to media reports on Monday.
The development comes following clashes in Parliament on Sunday between pro-government MPs and Opposition lawmakers over differences regarding the approval of four members of the pro-China president's cabinet.
During the clash, an altercation occurred between Kanditheemu MP Abdulla Shaheem Abdul Hakeem Shaheem and Kendhikulhudhoo MP Ahmed Easa when the former tripped and knocked down Easa.
Shaheem had also sustained injuries on his head when the two parliamentarians fell near the chamber during the scuffle. Minority leader Moosa Siraj had attempted to stop the altercation. Shaheem has now been taken to hospital, according to reports.
After the MDP and The Democrats’ parliamentary group decided to withhold parliamentary approval for four members of Muizzu’s cabinet ahead of the voting, MPs from the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives and People’s National Congress (PPM/PNC) coalition initiated a protest, obstructing the parliamentary sitting.
“The MDP, in partnership with the Democrats, have gathered enough signatures for an impeachment motion. However, they have yet to submit it,” Sun.com said, quoting a lawmaker from the MDP.
The decision to submit an impeachment motion was taken unanimously in the parliamentary group meeting of the MDP held on Monday, The Edition.mv reported.
Muizzu, 45, defeated India-friendly incumbent Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in the presidential runoff held in September last year. Soon after taking oath as president on 17 November, Muizzu formally requested India to withdraw 88 military personnel from his country by 15 March, saying the Maldivian people have given him a "strong mandate" to make this request to New Delhi.
Parliament, which has 87 members, had recently amended its standing orders to make it easier to submit an impeachment motion. The MDP and Democrats together have 56 MPs between them; 43 MPs from MDP, and 13 from Democrats.
“The Constitution, along with the Parliament’s standing orders, dictates that the president can be impeached with 56 votes,” the Sun.com reported.
The gathering of signatures for an impeachment motion against the president comes a day after the PPM-PNC coalition, with the endorsement of 23 lawmakers, submitted no-confidence motions against speaker Mohamed Aslam and deputy speaker Ahmed Saleem, both from MDP.