The Supreme Court has accepted a case filed by Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) council member and prominent lawyer Mohamed ‘Wadde’ Waheed regarding the disqualification of Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) Leader and MP Ahmed Thasmeen Ali from parliament.
Waheed claims Thasmeen had not paid back a MVR 1.9million (US$124,513) loan to Parliament Deputy Speaker Ahmed Nazim in accordance with a Civil Court ruling.
The Civil Court ruling required the repayment of MVR320,000 (US$20,779) each month for six consecutive months to clear the debt by April 2012, but Thasmeen only settled the debt in July 2012 after the High Court upheld the Civil Court’s ruling.
The Supreme Court in October stripped opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Ali Azim and Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Mohamed Nashiz over decreed debt. The pair were guarantors for five credit facilities worth MVR117 million (US$9 million) issued to Funadoo Tuna Products by the Bank of Maldives (BML).
The Civil Court in 2012 authorised BML to seize the assets mortgaged for the loans, which included Funadoo island, a yacht, and the Reethi Beach Resort following non-payment of the loan.
Supreme Court Justices Abdulla Saeed, Adam Mohamed Abdulla, Ali Hameed Mohamed and Dr Ahmed Abdulla Didi voted to strip Azim and Nashiz of their seats citing Article 73(c) of the constitution which states: “A person shall be disqualified from election as, a member of the People’s Majlis, or a member of the People’s Majlis immediately becomes disqualified, if he has a decreed debt which is not being paid as provided in the judgment.”
However, Chief Justice Faiz and Justice Abdulla Areef ruled that the guarantors would only have to bear responsibility if the debt could not be settled by selling the mortgaged assets.