The Elections Commission has informed the parliament of four lawmakers of ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) leaving the ruling party, announced President Abdulla Yameen at an emergency meeting of PPM’s council late Tuesday.
According to a council member, the four lawmakers are Thulusdhoo MP Mohamed Waheed Ibrahim, Villingili MP Saud Hussain, Maduvvari MP Mohamed Ameeth and Dhidhdhoo MP Abdul Latheef Mohamed.
PPM’s council member told Mihaaru that President Yameen had stated in the meeting that with the loss of the four lawmakers, the number of parliamentarians that signed the resolution to seek a motion of no confidence against Parliament Speaker Abdulla Maseeh will be less than the required number of 42 signatures. Thus, the president had proclaimed that the motion is now null and void and that the parliament will not hold the vote.
“The president said there are four fewer members in Parliament now and that sittings will resume with the four new lawmakers that are elected to those seats,” said PPM’s council member.
It is unclear whether President Yameen explained a reason for the four lawmakers to lose their seats. MPs Waheed, Ameeth and Saud were previously expelled from the ruling party while Latheef joined PPM only after he succeeded his seat as an independent candidate.
While the Supreme Court issued a ruling last Thursday that any lawmaker that resigns or is expelled from the political party they are registered to at the time of election or shifts to another party will lose their seat in Parliament, the ruling did not specify actions to be taken against lawmakers elected as independent candidates. The court later issued a second order, elaborating that the ruling does not apply to resignations, expulsions or floor crossing that took place in the past. Furthermore, it is specified that the ruling does not overlook the Political Parties Act, parties’ charters or any other legislature.