By Andrew Richards/Maldives Republic
Male, November 14: Hithadhoo North MP Mohamed Aslam, who was serving as Majority Leader for the parliamentary group of ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), has been elected as the Speaker of the Parliament. The election, held on Monday evening, followed the resignation of the previous Speaker, Mohamed Nasheed.
Aslam secured the position in a secret ballot against The Democrats’ Central Henveiru MP Ali Azim, with Aslam receiving 53 votes against Azim’s 23, from a total of 76 MPs who took part in the voting.
Aslam, who has served continuously in the parliament since 2005 and was the vice-presidential candidate alongside President Ibrahim Mohammed Solih, marks a historic appointment as the first individual from Addu to hold the Speaker’s position. Following his election, Aslam presided over Monday’s sitting, where he expressed gratitude towards Nasheed for his contributions and thanked the parliament members for their overwhelming support. Aslam pledged to work collaboratively with all members of Parliament and emphasised his commitment to uphold the rights and interests of lawmakers and Maldivian people.
In his address, Aslam assured fairness and dedication to protecting the rights of the lawmakers while steering the 19th parliament through its remaining term. He stressed the importance of cooperation from all members and political parties to fulfil his responsibilities effectively. Aslam’s commitment to ensuring the productivity of the remaining parliamentary sessions, in alignment with regulations and the constitution, signals a potential shift towards a more inclusive and cooperative legislative environment.
This election outcome reflects the dynamic nature of Maldivian politics. Nasheed, who as the then MDP leader had initially intended to elect Aslam as the speaker, resigned after weeks of parliamentary deadlock stemming from his party, The Democrats’ efforts to thwart the MDP’s attempts to unseat him.The vote, primarily a contest between the majority party MDP and the minority party The Democrats, saw Aslam securing a significant majority, indicating a strong support base within the parliament for majority MDP.