President Abdulla Yameen has said the government will ensure that rule of law prevails, and that executive will respect and abide by Supreme Court rulings.
“God willing, my government will definitely uphold the rule of law. All entities of my government will abide by the Supreme Court ruling,” Yameen said last night.
Speaking at the campaign launching ceremony of ruling Progressive Party of Maldives’ (PPM) VilliMalé constituency candidate Ahmed Nihan, Yameen stated that it was not acceptable practice in “civilised societies” for other institutions to criticise decisions made by the Supreme Court.
However, when Nihan himself was asked about the courts decision on Sunday evening, the MP expressed his reluctance to make any comment.
“I would have to really think twice before I go ahead and say anything about the Supreme Court,” he said. “The Supreme Court may think that it’s a contempt of law if I said anything.”
Announcing that the President’s Office had called for applications to the vacant posts in the Elections Commission (EC), Yameen reiterated the government’s stand that it would complete all necessary preparations to hold the Majlis elections on March 22 as stipulated by the apex court’s ruling.
“We are working to ensure that we have some names by 3pm on Thursday. God willing, we will complete the work tasked to us by the Supreme Court within the six days they have assigned to us,” he continued.
Yameen stated that his government would not question verdicts released by the Supreme Court and that his administration had complete respect for the judges on the bench.
However, the president did admit that judicial reform must be discussed, adding that “this includes the issue of delays in case completion. Even MDP [opposition Maldivian Democratic Party] members will accept that there are some cases that have been halted midway.”
“Even President Nasheed himself will believe that there are certain cases which do not proceed at all in our judiciary,” said Yameen.
“You can’t achieve results by playing the game off the field”: Yameen
President Yameen further stated that he finds the tendency of first world countries to “interfere” in internal matters of small countries in a manner that contradicts “the lessons in governance that they continue to deliver” to be highly concerning.
“I have even previously stated when I was working in the presidential campaign that in our administration, we will maintain the independence and sovereignty of deciding on our internal affairs in Maldivian hands. God willing, our government will achieve that,” he stated.
Referring to the opposition party’s consideration of boycotting the upcoming parliamentary elections, Yameen argued that “you can’t achieve results by playing the game off the field”.
He called on the MDP members to participate in the elections and join the parliament if they wanted to bring reforms, especially to the judiciary.
“I want to say to all MDP members that the Maldives is a country belonging to every one of us. This is not particularly Adhaalath Party’s Maldives. Nor is it specifically PPM’s Maldives. Nor is it Jumhooree Party’s Maldives. And especially, this is not just the MDP’s Maldives. This country belongs to all of us,” Yameen stated.
He stated that the MDP should not resort to boycotting the elections, and must come out and vote. He added that it is crucial in a modern society to demonstrate via parliament how one should act when power begins from the people.
“Depriving membership for themselves from an institution elected for a five year term – depriving their members from their right to have their feelings expressed – this is not a manner in which a political party would act in a modern environment,” the president said.
Meanwhile, the MDP held a meeting of its National Council yesterday night with the intention of deciding whether or not to boycott the approaching polls.
While the meeting was closed to media, some local news outlets were able to report proceedings.
According to local media, two proposals were made at the meeting – former President Nasheed proposed boycotting the upcoming elections and protest the Supreme Court’s decision, while another unnamed member is said to have proposed that the party protest but that it still participate in the election.
The meeting was brought to a halt by Chairperson ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik citing differences of opinion, with a follow up meeting to be scheduled in the near future.