Move to impeach detained Maldivian vice president

Male, Oct 26 (IANS) Members of the ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) were on Monday collecting signatures to file a motion to remove Vice President Ahmed Adeeb, officials said.

“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 member said.

Adeeb was arrested on October 24 suspected of links to the September 28 explosion on President Abdulla Yameen’s boat. The government said the blast was an assassination attempt. The president escaped unhurt, Minivan News reported.

Some 29 signatures are required for the parliament to consider an impeachment motion.

The vice president can only be voted out by a two-thirds majority, or 57 votes in favour in the 85-member house.

The PPM controls 44 seats, while its ally Maldives Development Alliance holds five seats.

“We will get the required 29 signatures. There is no doubt about it. Maybe one or two MPs may change their mind, but the petition will be submitted with many more signatures than 29,” the member said.

In July, when former vice president Mohamed Jameel Ahmed was removed, the PPM-dominated parliament had amended parliament’s standing orders so that an investigation by a select committee is 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 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.

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