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Maldives appoints new vice president, sacks incumbent

Male: The Maldives on Wednesday appointed its young Tourism Minister Ahmed Adheeb as the vice president of the country a day after removing incumbent Mohamed Jameel from office – in the first such instance in the Indian Ocean island country. Ahmed_adeeb_tourism_minister

Adheeb was on Wednesday administered the oath of the vice president’s office by Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed in a ceremony held at the President’s office.

Parliament will convene later in the day to confirm the young minister’s ascension, said media reports.

On Tuesday, the Maldives parliament passed a no-confidence motion against Jameel, and for the first time in the history of the nation removed a vice president from office, said Haveeru Online.

A total of 78 MPs voted in favour of Jameel’s removal, while only two members challenged it. No parliamentarians abstained.

Jameel, 45, elected in 2013 with President Abdulla Yameen, was in Britain at the time. He released a statement that he had been sidelined by the government and not allowed to work.

Jameel on Tuesday slammed the no-confidence motion against him, saying it was based on “deceitful allegations” and it cannot be substantially proven in parliament.

In a statement, he termed the allegations of incompetence and irresponsibility presented against him as a “ploy to achieve a particular political end and is so removed from public interest that the entire country should be ashamed of”.

“What more can the parliamentarians present, other than a statement claiming that I worked against my own administration?” Jameel said ahead of the no-confidence motion.

“In my tenure as vice president, I have not done one thing that undermines the authority of the president or opposes the policies of our administration,” he continued.

“Instead, I used what little opportunity I had to thank and admire the president and our administration.”

The ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), the pro-government Maldivian Democratic Alliance (MDA), opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), and the Jumhooree Party (JP)’s parliamentary groups support the motion against Jameel.

Parliament also amended regulations so that the motion was no longer required to be sent to an 11-member committee. The motion was decided on at the parliament floor.

This regulation was amended in order to hasten a decision on the motion, said Haveeru.

In another development, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has cancelled his official visit to the Maldives, and President Yameen has invited Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena to participate in a special ceremony to commemorate the Maldives’ 50th Independence.

Sharif had previously confirmed his arrival. However, he later last week sent a letter to the President’s Office cancelling the visit due to a severe flooding in Pakistan’s Chitral, displacing thousands of families.

President Yameen invited Sharif during his official trip to Pakistan in May.

The President’s Office is yet to receive a response to its letter to Sirisena.

(IANS)

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