The religious conservative Adhaalath Party MP Ibrahim Muthalib has called on the Supreme Court protect itself from derogatory remarks by temporarily banning the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).
While briefing the press yesterday (October 13), Muthalib stated that the MDP was a militant organisation working to destroy the nation and its religion.
He stressed that it was imperative and necessary for Supreme Court to take action in defending the nation and Islam.
“Supreme Court needs to self-initiate a ruling to ban the MDP for a couple of days. All these things will be sorted out if [the Supreme Court] bans the MDP. If the court does not resort to such measures, these problems [of defaming the Supreme Court] will continue,” Muthalib suggested.
“Firstly, they survived in Maldivian politics by speaking of the thirty-year autocratic rule [of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom] for four years. From 2004 to 2008, the only thing that these people spoke of was about those thirty years.” explained Muthalib.
“Now, it is the Supreme Court [which MDP has targeted].”
The remarks came shortly after Adhaalath had publicly announced its support for the Supreme Court case to bar MDP presidential candidate and former President Mohamed Nasheed from competing in the presidential elections scheduled for Saturday (October 19).
The case, filed by the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) Council Member Ibrahim ‘Wadde’ Waheed and President of the ‘Madhanee Iththihaadh’ (Civil Alliance) Sheikh Mohamed Didi, was quickly condemned by incumbent President Dr Mohamed Waheed.
The PPM leadership also announced it was in negotiation with its own council member to withdraw the case.
Nasheed himself has repeatedly maintained that such attempts would not succeed and that such efforts were “not even newsworthy”. His MDP has meanwhile described Muthalib’s remarks as being against against all democratic norms.
Chief Justice overpowered by the MDP, Nasheed a criminal
Muthalib also went onto criticise Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz Hussain – one of the three judges to have opposed the decision to annul the first round of the presidential election – claiming that he had been “overpowered” by the MDP.
He reminded Faiz that he was not appointed to the Supreme Court by Nasheed, but rather it was “Allah who had given him that post through his will”.
The Adhaalath MP urged the Chief Justice to work independently and without bias. He did, however, point out that his remarks did not represent the official view of the Adhaalath Party.
When asked about the remarks made by Muthalib during the press conference, the Vice President of Adhaalath Party, Dr Mauroof Hussain said that it was up to the Elections Commission to take action against the MDP, though he did condemn the party’s criticism of the court.
“Where else in the world [does] a political party do such things? A political party has called to disregard a ruling issued by the highest court of law in the country. If such a thing is carried out in any other democratic party, be it a political party or a state institution, they would face immediate dissolution,” Mauroof told the press.
MP Muthalib himself has been linked to several controversies, both for his frequent party switching and his remarks in parliament.
He was originally elected to parliament as an independent candidate – despite being a member of Adhaalath – before joining the Jumhooree Party (JP) in 2011.
Just months later, however, he resigned from the party, rejoining the Adhaalath Party.
Last November 2012, Muthalib made a call in parliament for former President Nasheed’s Special Envoy Ibrahim Hussain Zaki to be “hanged to death” as a “traitor to the Maldives”.
He is also a sponsor of the bill seeking amendment to the Clemency Act that if passed would would require any death sentence then upheld by the Supreme Court to be carried out. The bill is still pending in parliament.
Responding to the remarks, MDP Spokesperson Imthiyaz Fahmy told Minivan News today (October 14) that the Adhaalath Party was working not only against the progress of the country, but also against human nature.
“These people do not comprehend the fact that we are now living in the 21st century. This country has fully adopted and accepted the multiparty political system… Their backward thinking will lead them to their fateful end as people are not ready to accept such remarks,” Fahmy told Minivan News.
Fahmy also pointed out that the people were not willing to support political parties that are attempting to drag the country back to the dictatorship of former President Gayoom.
“These kind of remarks made by such immature political parties is one reason behind the immense support gained by the MDP. The people know that it was the MDP and its supporters who paid the price to bring in democratic reforms in the country that allowed the people to freely voice their political opinion. Calling to ban the MDP is an attempt to destroy the democracy in the Maldives,” He added.