MPs of the ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) are collecting signatures for a motion to impeach Vice President Ahmed Adeeb.
“We are trying to get all of the ruling coalition MPs to sign the petition. As soon as that is done, we will submit the motion, maybe in a day or two,” a PPM MP who wished to remain anonymous said.
Adeeb was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of links to the September 28 explosion on President Abdulla Yameen’s boat. The government says the blast was an assassination attempt. The president escaped unhurt.
Some 29 signatures are required for the parliament to consider an impeachment motion.
The vice president can only be voted out by a two-third majority, or 57 votes of the 85 member house.
The PPM controls 44 seats in the Majlis, while its ally Maldives Development Alliance holds 5 seats.
“We will get the required 29 signatures. There is no doubt about it. Maybe one or two MPs may change their minds, but the petition will be submitted with many more signatures than 29,” the MP said.
The Jumhooree Party (JP), a former ruling coalition partner, holds 11 seats and the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) controls 22 seats.
JP MP Abdulla Riyaz said MPs have not yet held discussions on the motion. “We will decide after deliberations,” he said.
The MDP was not responding to calls at the time of going to press.
The People’s Majlis is required to give the vice president a period of 14 days to answer charges.
In July, when former Vice President Mohamed Jameel Ahmed was removed, the PPM-dominated parliament had amended the parliament’s standing orders so that an investigation by a select committee was not required before impeaching the vice president.
Yameen on Sunday detailed a litany of charges against Adeeb, including obstructing the inquiry into the boat blast and corruption by exerting undue influence within the police force.
Soon after the blast, Adeeb approached MDP and PPM MPs to impeach the president, Yameen said.
Three soldiers arrested, for tampering with evidence, have links to Adeeb, he said. Materials that could be used to make bombs were found at their homes during raids, he added.
However, Yameen said he would not initiate a no-confidence motion against Adeeb.