In a dramatic turn of events, the main opposition party in the Maldives, the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), has announced that it has collected enough signatures to submit a motion for the impeachment of President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu. The MDP, in collaboration with the Democrats, boasts a majority in the Parliament, with a combined total of 56 MPs – 43 from MDP and 13 from Democrats.
The decision to pursue impeachment follows the recent amendment of the Parliament’s standing orders, making it more convenient to initiate such motions. The constitution and standing orders specify that the president can be impeached with the support of 56 votes, a number that the MDP and Democrats claim to have secured.
This development comes on the heels of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives – People’s National Congress (PPM-PNC) submitting no-confidence motions against Speaker Mohamed Aslam and Deputy Speaker Ahmed Saleem, both members of the MDP. The PPM-PNC motions, endorsed by 23 lawmakers, indicate rising tensions within the political landscape.
The current upheaval traces back to MDP’s decision to issue a three-line red whip on Sunday, withholding approval for four members of President Muizzu’s cabinet – Ahmed Usham (Attorney General), Mohamed Saeed (Economic Minister), Dr. Ali Haidar (Housing Minister), and Dr. Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed (Islamic Minister). The move took place just before a scheduled vote on the cabinet, leading to increased tensions between government and opposition lawmakers.
Verbal clashes between the two factions escalated into physical violence, further exacerbated by a gathering of pro-government protestors outside the Parliament. The situation remains volatile as the MDP and Democrats deliberate on the timing of submitting the impeachment motion, potentially ushering in a new chapter in the Maldives’ political landscape.