The People’s Majlis has formally notified detained Vice President Ahmed Adeeb of a motion to impeach him, lawyer Hussain Shameem has said.
Adeeb, in police custody on suspicion of links to the explosion on President Abdulla Yameen’s speedboat, will get 30 minutes to answer charges on the parliament floor. He is also entitled to legal counsel.
The ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) has collected 52 signatures on the impeachment motion. A two-thirds majority or 57 votes will be required to remove Adeeb.
The vote will be held in the second week of November. The parliament is required to provide Adeeb 14 days notice before the vote.
“The vice president is ready to speak at the parliament. He will take this opportunity and he will attend the parliament,” Shameem said.
The government says the boat blast was caused by a bomb targeting Yameen. The president escaped unhurt, but the first lady remains hospitalized.
On Sunday, Yameen, in his first public address since the explosion, detailed a litany of charges against Adeeb, including corruption and obstructing the inquiry into the alleged assassination plot by exerting undue influence over the police force.
Adeeb has denied the allegations.
He assumed the vice presidency in July, after the parliament amended the constitution to make him eligible for the position.
Adeeb is the second vice president to face impeachment in the Maldives. His predecessor, Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed, was voted out in July on charges of disloyalty.
At the time, the PPM amended the parliament’s standing orders to abandon an inquiry by a select committee and shortened the time period afforded to the vice president to answer charges.
The amended standing orders also state that the vice president has to be present in person to answer charges.
Jameel, who left the Maldives abruptly before the vote, did not attend the parliament session, but issued a written statement to the media denying the charges against him.
The PPM’s parliamentary group leader MP Ahmed Nihan has said the impeachment motion against Adeeb will pass with an “overwhelming majority.”
The PPM and its ally the Maldives Development Alliance control 49 seats. The main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) holds 21 seats and the Jumhooree Party, a former ruling coalition partner, holds 11 seats. There are three independent MPs and one MP with the religious conservative Adhaalath Party.
Some JP MPs have signed the impeachment motion, but no MDP MP signed it, the PPM has said.
The PPM has issued a three-line whip in favor of the motion, but the MDP and JP parliamentary groups said they have not formally discussed the matter yet.