AG Riffath Faces No-Confidence Motion over Maritime Border Dispute

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Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath is facing a parliamentary no-confidence motion alleging his actions have been against the best interests of Maldivian citizens in the maritime border dispute between the Maldives and Mauritius, which was reviewed by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS).

The motion was filed by an opposition alliance composed of the opposition PPM-PNC coalition, ‘Fikuregge Dhurin’, led by MDP’s leader and Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed, along with the Jumhoory Party and Maldives National Party.

During a press conference held by the alliance, PNC’s Deputy Leader and Maduvvari MP Adam Shareef highlighted negligence in advocating for the Maldives’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and substantial compensation to third parties as reasons for initiating the no-confidence motion. He emphasized that such actions are detrimental to Maldivian citizens.

The opposition alliance is also pursuing no-confidence motions against President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid.

Ali Hussain, a member of the Jumhoory Party, expressed concern at the press conference, stating that AG Riffath had argued in favor of protecting the interests of another party instead of upholding the Maldivian constitution and its designated EEZ. He stressed that relinquishing something to which Maldivians are entitled constitutes a significant betrayal.

To dismiss a minister, the no-confidence motion requires the support of two-thirds of the parliament members, amounting to 43 out of 87 members.

The opposition alliance consists of a total of 24 parliamentarians, including 12 members from Fikuregge Dhirun, seven members from the opposition PPM-PNC coalition, three members from the Jumhoory Party, and three members from the MNP.

On April 28th, ITLOS concluded that the conflicting EEZ between Mauritius and the Maldives would be divided between the two countries using the equidistance formula advocated by the Maldives during the case. As a result, the Maldives gained 47,232 square kilometers of the disputed maritime territory, while Mauritius gained 45,331 square kilometers.