As Maldives Parliament Goes for Crucial Vote, Nasheed Accuses International Community of Turning a Blind Eye

The vote to remove the speaker is an important test for the newly formed alliance between ex-president Mohamed Nasheed and former dictator Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, with an eye on the 2018 presidential elections.

New Delhi: As the Maldives parliament went under lockdown to decide a no-confidence motion against the speaker, former Maldivian president and opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed is getting very worried.

From Colombo, Sri Lanka, Nasheed was on the phone trying to rally the troops for the crucial vote – which was the first gauntlet thrown down by the new opposition alliance against President Abdulla Yameen by trying to topple speaker Abdulla Maseeh Mohamed.

This was an important test for the alliance to launch a serious challenge after the signing of a formal accord between Nasheed, former Maldives dictator Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Jumhoree party leader Gasim Ibrahim and Adhaalath Party head Sheikh Imran Abdulla. The result of the vote will be a vital augur of the opposition’s ability to challenge an entrenched Yameen in the 2018 presidential elections.

This morning, the no-confidence motion was introduced by Faris Maumoon, the son of Gayoom and the nephew of Yameen.

According to local media reports, house majority leader Ahmed Nihan first proposed a roll call vote to avoid any allegations of abuse through the electronic voting system. He later implied that the opposition was trying to “hack” the system.

Gayoom tweeted that there had to be “evident” defect in the system, before going for a manual roll call.

“The government has tampered with the electronic voting machines and now calling for roll call of MPs,” Nasheed told The Wire. “The roll call is like the inquisition in which MPs will be asked individually for their vote,” he said, agitatedly.

Voting through the electronic system would have been more comfortable as it was “voting in a group,” Nasheed pointed out, rather than manually where the presiding officer would call on each member to announce their choice.

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