Deputy Speaker of Parliament MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik has alleged that amendments to the Judicature Act, which facilitated the removal of two Supreme Court judges, were submitted on the request of former President Mohamed Nasheed.
“[MDP MP Ibrahim ‘Mavota’] Shareef told me personally that the amendments to the Judicature Act were submitted on the request of President Nasheed,” explained the Hulhuhenveiru MP.
Moosa also alleged that neither the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) nor President Nasheed had formally asked MP Shareef to withdraw his amendments.
The former MDP chair was speaking to Minivan News regarding his appeal against the party’s decision to dismiss him for repeatedly breaching the three-line whip – twice during the removal of the judges.
President Nasheed has denied Moosa’s allegations, telling Minivan News: “I did not ask Shareef to submit any bill”.
Moosa suggested that Nasheed – currently the party’s president – was aware he would violate the whip if a situation arose in which Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz was to be defended, therefore initiating a process which would eventually result in the MP’s dismissal.
He has explained his position, arguing that the dismissed chief justice had done great harm to the party, not least when swearing in Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed without question following Nasheed’s controversial resignation of the presidency in February 2012.
During Faiz’s tenure, the Supreme Court bench had stripped three MDP MPs of their membership and annulled the first round of presidential elections held in September 2013, Moosa has previously explained.
The removal of Faiz and Muthasim Adnan was condemned as unconstitutional by numerous local and international organisations, who have said the move compromises the independence of the judiciary.
Moosa reiterated his belief that the real reason for his dismissal from the party was that he had announced his intention to contest the MDP presidential primaries of 2018.
“I attended a meeting with Shareef at President Nasheed’s office to discuss about the amendments (to the Judicature Act). Nasheed did not request Shareef withdraw it.”
When contacted by Minivan News today, Shareef – who submitted the amendments to the Judicature Act in November – refused to confirm Moosa’s claims, saying that he did not wish to comment on the matter for the time being.
The MDP’s national executive council rejected Shareef’s amendments which were subsequently approved with the support of government-aligned parties in the Majlis. Shareef himself eventually voted against both the amendment and the judges’ removal.
Moosa has also questioned the legitimacy of his dismissal from MDP, noting that current party Chairperson Ali Waheed had not officially informed the Majlis
“If my dismissal is serious and legitimate why has it not been done? This also points to the fact that there is something not right about this whole disciplinary committee business”.
Disciplinary Committee decision
The MDP’s disciplinary committee expelled Moosa on December 22, stating that he would be required to issue a public apology and obtain 50 new members for the party should he wish to rejoin.
The committee has, however, barred Moosa from standing for any leadership position or contesting in party primaries for five years.
When asked why he chose to appeal the disciplinary committee’s decision through the MDP’s internal mechanisms despite having stated that he does not trust the party’s appeal process, Moosa asked: “What else is there to do? I would never take MDP to court, I would never do that”.
Moosa has also lodged a complaint with the Elections Commission (EC), which confirmed it has received the case.
Additionally, Moosa said he did not believe that a five-member disciplinary committee could expel him, noting that the dismissal of former MDP President Dr Ibrahim Didi and Vice president Alhan Fahmy was deliberated upon by the party’s National Council.
Moosa also claimed that that the party can only issue whips regarding the way in which votes are to be cast, and not on attendance at the parliament.
The disciplinary committee’s demand that he submit new membership forms when joining the party was also against the MDP’s standing orders, he added,
According to Article 114 of MDP’s constitution: “The disciplinary committee has the authority to warn, fine, suspend and expel parties proven guilty of” violating the party’s constitution, regulations, or damaging the party’s aims or reputation.
In explaining the timeline of events which preceded the parliamentary vote to dismiss the Supreme Court judges, Moosa said he had requested the parliamentary group hold a meeting to further discuss the issue.
Meanwhile in accordance with MDP’s disciplinary committee’s decision regarding the five other MDP MPs who broke the whip for the judges’ removal, their apology letters were published on the MDP’s website yesterday (4 December).
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