Parliament today approved Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Ahmed Hamza as the People’s Majlis’ representative to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) with 43 votes in favour, 27 against and one abstention.
The MP for Faafu Bilehdhoo was approved after a proposal backed by pro-government Progressive Party (PPM) of Maldives and Jumhooree Party (JP) to appoint JP MP Ilham Ahmed to the judicial oversight commission was defeated 34-39.
Hamza’s name was proposed by Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP ‘Colonel’ Mohamed Nasheed and seconded by MDP MP Eva Abdulla.
The opposition party’s success in approving its member to the JSC confirms a new-found majority for the MDP with the provisional support of the DRP, which is currently backing MDP presidential candidate and former President Mohamed Nasheed in the upcoming presidential election.
The MDP currently has 33 seats in parliament while the DRP has nine.
The 10-member independent judicial watchdog body meanwhile consists of three judges from the three tiers of the judiciary, the chair of the Civil Service Commission, the Attorney General, a member appointed by the president, the speaker of parliament, an MP approved by parliament, a member of the general public selected by parliament, and a lawyer elected by licensed practitioners of the legal profession.
The slot for the parliament representative was vacated after JP Leader Gasim Ibrahim accepted the loss of his seat in July after lawyers questioned the legality of a presidential candidate remaining in the JSC.
Article 10 of the JSC Act states that a member of the commission will automatically lose his seat in the event that they “file to contest in an election for any political position under the constitution of the Maldives”.
The newest member of the JSC, Ahmed Hamza, is an experienced lawyer and long-serving MP.