Supreme Court invalidates Thasmeen’s Majlis membership challenge

The Supreme Court has invalidated a challenge against Ahmed Thasmeen Ali’s People’s Majlis seat.

The ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) council member, Mohamed Waheed Ibrahim (Wadde), asked the Supreme Court to revoke Thasmeen’s seat claiming he had not paid back an MVR1.9 million (US$124,513) loan to Deputy Speaker Ahmed Nazim as per a Civil Court ruling.

Local newspaper CNM reported that the case was invalidated after the Supreme Court was unable to summon Wadde to court.

Article 73(c) of the constitution 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.”

Wadde said that, although Thasmeen had repaid the loan, he did not pay within the time period delineated in the Civil Court ruling, which required the repayment of MVR320,000 (US$20,779) each month for six consecutive months to clear the debt by April 2012. 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 MP Mohamed Nashiz of their seats 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.

Thasmeen, Nashiz, and Azim are contesting the March People’s Majlis elections on the opposition MDP ticket.