The Maldives is in crisis as the main opposition party, the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), backed by a parliamentary majority, prepares to submit an impeachment motion against elected President Mohamed Muizzu.
This comes when clashes in the Maldivian Parliament tensions over the approval of members of President Muizzu’s cabinet.
The MDP, in collaboration with the opposition party The Democrats, has gathered enough signatures to initiate the impeachment motion, according to local media reports.
A total of 34 members, comprising representatives from both the MDP and Democrats, have expressed their support for the motion, as reported by Adhahdhu, a Maldivian news website.
The decision to move forward with the impeachment motion was taken during a parliamentary group meeting of the MDP.
The Maldivian Constitution outlines a specific process for the removal of the President. According to constitutional provisions, an impeachment resolution must be submitted by one-third of Majlis (Parliament) members, along with justifications for removal.
The resolution must gain the support of two-thirds of the total Majlis membership, requiring 54 votes for successful impeachment.
The political problem started a day after clashes broke out in the Maldivian Parliament between pro-government MPs and opposition lawmakers.
The cause of the discord centers around the approval process for four members of President Muizzu’s cabinet.
The MDP’s decision to withhold approval for cabinet members triggered protests and disruptions by members of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives and People’s National Congress (PPM/PNC) coalition.
The four cabinet members in question include Attorney General Ahmed Usham, Minister of Housing, Land and Urban Development Dr. Ali Haidar, Minister of Islamic Affairs Dr. Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed, and Minister of Economic Development and Trade Mohamed Saeed.
The ruling PPM-PNC coalition has filed no-confidence motions against the Parliament’s Speaker, Mohamed Aslam, and Deputy Speaker Ahmed Saleem. The alleges that Speaker Aslam misused his official capacity to favor a specific party.
The denial of parliamentary approval to President Muizzu’s cabinet by the opposition has been met with strong resistance from the ruling coalition.
They argue that obstructing the approval process hinders the government’s ability to deliver services to citizens.
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Reports suggest heavy police deployment inside the Maldivian Parliament to maintain order and prevent incidents of violence.
Videos circulating on social media depict the scenes within the Parliament, shows physical altercations between lawmakers.
President Muizzu, who assumed office in November, is perceived as a pro-China leader. His decision to make Beijing his first port of call after taking office from the traditional practice of Maldivian Presidents making India their inaugural visit.
The President’s formal request for India to withdraw its military personnel and efforts to strengthen ties with China have strained relations.
Opposition parties expressing concern over what they describe as a stark anti-India stance by the Muizzu government.
The Maldivian Democratic Party and The Democrats jointly issued a statement addressing the importance of maintaining relations with all development partners, including India, for the long-term development of the country.