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Will Maldives president Muizzu be impeached? Male’s politcal turmoil explained

The attorney general’s office in the Maldives has filed a case with the Supreme Court regarding the recent amendment to parliament’s standing orders that allows opposition lawmakers to initiate impeachment proceedings against the president.

FILE – Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu (AP)

Attorney General Ahmed Usham confirmed the case registration on Sunday, in a statement to local news outlet Sun Online, though the Supreme Court is yet to acknowledge it.

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On the other hand, a member of the opposition party Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) said on Monday that the party has collected enough signatures for an impeachment motion, but it has not been submitted.

What is the amendment?

In November, seven lawmakers resigned from Parliament to take up key positions in the government led by president Mohamed Muizzu. Despite this, the elections commission opted against conducting by-elections, citing the scheduled parliamentary polls in 2024.

Seizing the opportunity, the main opposition MDP, holding a majority in Parliament, amended the standing orders. The amendment ensures that vacated seats are not considered when determining the total number of Members of Parliament. Consequently, the total number of MPs is now 80, down from 87. This change reduces the required votes for the impeachment of president Mohamed Muizzu from 58 to 54.

Is president Muizzu in trouble? Number theory here

Mohamed Muizzu became the president of the Maldives by winning 54 per cent of the vote. However, the ruling coalition does not hold the majority in parliament, thus Muizzu faces a tangible risk of removal. The process for an impeachment motion mandates a two-thirds majority from the 80-seat House for its passage.

The Maldivian Parliament consists of 80 members, with MDP holding 45 seats, The Democrats (DEM), having 13 members. Within the ruling coalition of PPM-PNC, the Progressive Party of the Maldives has 2 members, while the People’s National Congress has 13. Additionally, there are three independents, and the Jumhooree Party and the Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) each have two.

Last week, the MDP and the opposition Democrats announced an alliance to collaboratively “hold the government accountable” in Parliament.

Together, they command 56 MPs, with 43 from the MDP and 13 from the Democrats, providing them with the authority to initiate the impeachment process against president Muizzu if they choose to do so.

Maldives political turmoil | Top Updates

• Earlier on Sunday, the Maldives Parliament witnessed violence as government MPs from the PPM/PNC party clashed with the opposition during a key vote on parliamentary approval for the Muizzu government.

• The MDP, holding the highest number of members in parliament, denied approval to housing minister Ali Haidar Ahmed, Islamic minister Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed, and attorney general Ahmed Usham. However, economic minister Mohamed Saeed narrowly secured approval.

• However, by evening, president Muizzu reinstated all the ministers by the evening, overturning the parliament’s decision.

• Chief advisor to Muizzu and PNC chairperson Abdul Raheem Abdullah argued that the ministers have the right to be reappointed even without parliamentary authorisation. He criticised the refusal to approve the ministers as irresponsible.

(Inputs from wires)

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