MALE, MALDIVES - In a significant political development, a coalition comprising the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), People's National Congress (PNC), Fikuregge Dhirun movement, Maldives National Party (MNP), and Jumhooree Party (JP) has taken decisive action by initiating a motion of no confidence against Attorney General Riffath and Foreign Minister Abdullah Shahid. The motion stems from concerns surrounding their handling of the Chagos issue.
The coalition's discontent has not stopped there, as it now aims to move a no-confidence motion against President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. Taking swift action, the coalition has already commenced the process of collecting signatures for the petition, expressing confidence in reaching the required number in the near future.
The catalyst for these motions is the decision rendered by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in the Maldives-Mauritius maritime dispute. Critics argue that the ITLOS ruling did not advocate for an equitable or just delimitation of the 200-nautical-mile boundary from the Maldives. Instead, the Maldivian government agreed to an equal division of the disputed area as requested by Mauritius.
Under the ITLOS ruling, Mauritius received around 45,331 square kilometres, while the Maldives was granted approximately 47,232 square kilometres. This division has raised concerns among many, particularly among the fishing community, as a significant portion of the sea where they traditionally fished could be lost.
Adding to the controversy, President Ibrahim Solih's decision to vote against Mauritius on the Chagos issue without consulting parliament has further fueled concerns.