Minivan News spends 15 Minutes with former Attorney-General of the Maldives Dr. Munavvar.
Dr. Munavvar is now the legal advisor to the Maldivian Democratic Party.
MN: President Gayoom is telling the nation and the world that it was Dr.Munavvar who advised the Majlis (parliament) in 2001, that the Constitution does not allow for the formation of political parties.
Dr. Munavvar: At no time under any circumstances have I given advice that contravenes the constitution. The Republic’s Constitution through Article 27 gives Maldivians the liberty to form associations. When the question came to me (in 2001, in parliament), I clearly stated that fact. I also made the additional explanation that the traditions of governance as well as governance at the time does not allow political parties, even should they be formed, the leeway to attain their objectives. My remarks are now a matter of public record; any one who examines it would realize that what I did not say that the constitution or the laws in the country banned political parties.
MN: In 2001, the President requested the parliament’s advice, on which members voted by majority that political parties should not be allowed. As the outcome does not amount to enactment of a law, do you think that this was a sham to hoodwink the public and the international community?
Dr. Munavvar: Yes. First of all, if the Constitution or the law actually did ban political parties, the President need not have asked parliament for advice. Subsequent to that, such opinions or advice passed by the house does not constitute a law, as members deliberated not on a Bill, but on a request of the President forwarded by letter. It also follows that there is no law that requires the government to act on such advice passed in the house.
MN: The Maldivian Democratic Party’s Chairperson recently said that you were among eminent persons in the party for the country’s leadership. You are also the MDP Governing Council’s Legal Advisor. Do you feel you are achieving your aspirations?
Dr. Munavvar: I do not personally state a propensity for high position. However I shall continue doing my best in serving the interests of the Maldivian people. Should the people need me to serve in any post that they deem fit for me, I would not falter in going forth in their service.