MDP readies to file impeachment motion against President Muizzu

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu chairs a cabinet meeting on January 21, 2024. (Photo/President's Office)

The main opposition MDP – which holds a majority in the Parliament – has gathered enough signatures to submit a motion to impeach President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu.

A lawmaker from MDP told Sun on Monday afternoon that the MDP, in partnership with the Democrats, have gathered enough signatures for an impeachment motion.

However, they have yet to submit it.

The Parliament 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 54 votes.

The move to gather signatures for an impeachment motion against the president comes a day after the ruling PPM-PNC submitted no-confidence motions against Speaker Mohamed Aslam and Deputy Speaker Ahmed Saleem – both from MDP. The motions were submitted with the endorsement of 23 lawmakers.

The current turmoil stems from MDP’s decision to issue a three-line red whip on Sunday to withhold approval to four members of President Muizzu’s cabinet; Ahmed Usham, the attorney general; Mohamed Saeed, the economic minister; Dr. Ali Haidar, the housing minister; and Dr. Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed, the Islamic minister.

The decision, which came just ahead of a scheduled vote on the cabinet, sparked anger from the ruling PPM-PNC lawmakers, with verbal exchanges between government and opposition lawmakers escalating into physical violence, as a crowd of pro-government protestors gathered outside the Parliament.