MVR 500,000 paid to Gayoom’s parliament appointees

The state has paid approximately MVR 500,000 (US$32,425) each as compensation to eight MPs appointed to parliament by former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, following a Supreme Court ruling in March that their removal was unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court ruled on March 13 that the removal of the eight presidential appointees in late 2008 by incoming President Mohamed Nasheed – who replaced the eight with his own appointees – was unconstitutional and ordered the state to compensate the MPs for salaries and allowances due for the remainder of the last parliamentary session of the 16th parliament.

The Supreme Court ruling had overruled judgments by the Civil Court and High Court.

Local daily Haveeru reported yesterday that one MP had been paid MVR 407,000 (US$26,394) so far. The former MP, who wished to remain anonymous, was quoted as saying that the “Finance [Ministry] told some of the MPs that the amounts cannot be paid now due to the financial constraints of the state.”

“As far as I know, the state will pay them over a period,” the anonymous MP added.

The case was filed by former President Gayoom’s appointees Rozaina Adam and Ahmed Mahloof. While both were elected to the 17th parliament on a Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) ticket, MP Mahloof left the DRP to join former President Gayoom’s Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).

The case reached the Supreme Court one and a half years ago after the Civil Court and High Court ruled that the Nasheed administration had the legal authority to dismiss Gayoom appointees.