Majlis approves Criminal Court Judge Muhthaz Muhsin for prosecutor general post

The People’s Majlis has today approved Criminal Court Judge Muhthaz Muhsin for the post of prosecutor general (PG).

Muhsin’s nomination for the role – vacant since November – received 62 votes in favour, and seven votes against, while 12 MPs abstained.

President Abdulla Yameen had nominated Muhsin and his nephew Maumoon Hameed for parliamentary approval on June 2. As Muhsin’s name was put to a vote first and approved, Speaker Abdulla Maseeh Mohamed did not call a vote for Hameed.

Thirteen MPs of the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) also voted in favour of Muhsin.

They were Addu Meedhoo MP Rozaina Adam, Felidhoo MP Ahmed Marzooq, Hithadhoo South MP Ali Nizar, mid-Hithadhoo MP Ibrahim Mohamed Didi, Hulhuhenveiru MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik, Komandoo MP Ahmed Nashid, Kulhudhufushi North MP Abdul Gafoor Moosa, Kurendhoo MP Abdul Bari Abdulla, Addu Maradhoo MP Ibrahim Shareef, mid-Henveiru MP Ali Azim, Mulaku MP Ibrahim Naseer, Vaikaradhoo MP Mohamed Nazim, and Velidhoo MP Abdulla Yameen.

While the Jumhooree Party (JP) decided today that its 12 MPs would abstain in the vote, JP MP for Kendhoo Ali Hussain voted in favour of Muhsin.

MDP MP for Alifushi, Mohamed Rasheed Hussain ‘Bigey’, joined the remaining 11 JP MPs in abstaining while all seven MPs who voted against Muhsin belonged to the opposition MDP.

The MDP parliamentary group had reportedly decided last night to issue a three-line whip against Hameed and to give its 23 MPs a free whip to vote as they chose for Muhsin.

With 20 MPs in attendance at parliamentary group meeting last night, the proposal by Deputy Speaker Moosa Manik was passed with 13 votes in favour.

Meanwhile, at a parliamentary group meeting on Saturday (July 19), MPs of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) decided to endorse Muhsin despite the party’s leader, former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, urging ruling party MPs to vote for his nephew Maumoon Hameed.

Majority Leader MP Ahmed Nihan confirmed to Minivan News that a three-line whip was also issued for PPM MPs to vote for Muhsin.

All PPM MPs in attendance along with MPs of coalition partner Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) voted in favour of approving Muhsin as the new PG.


Maumoon Hameed and Muhthaz MuhsinMaumoon Hameed has meanwhile criticised the PPM MPs’ decision on his Facebook page.

“The reasoning behind the decision of the PPM parliamentary group this afternoon apparently went something like this: ‘He won’t do as he’s told!'” he wrote.

“Given this reasoning, and the evident desire to install a puppet instead of someone who will uphold the law without fear or favour, I applaud the decision to endorse someone (anyone!) other than me.”

Responding to the post, former MP Mohamed ‘Colonel’ Nasheed alleged that PPM MPs on the independent institutions oversight committee were instructed to award zero percent to Hameed and 100 percent to Muhsin  during the vetting process.

Following evaluation of the nominees at a closed session based on academic qualifications, experience, and competence, the oversight committee awarded Hameed 33 percent and Muhsin 67 percent and decided against recommending either nominee for approval.

In a letter to PPM Parliamentary Group Leader Nihan demanding an explanation of the PPM-majority committee’s decision, Gayoom had contended that the committee meeting where the nominees were interviewed was conducted in violation of parliamentary rules.

In the wake of the PPM parliamentary group’s decision to vote for Muhsin, MDP MP Rozaina Adam meanwhile tweeted, “Could President Yameen publicly humiliate President Gayoom more than this? Yameen’s choice is very clear.”

Vacant PG post

Rozaina also alleged that Yameen had conspired for the previous parliament to reject Maumoon Hameed in April by ensuring that several PPM MPs would be absent for the vote.

Several pro-government MPs – including Nihan who was with President Yameen in Japan and MDA Leader Ahmed Siyam – were conspicuously absent at the sitting, which saw  Hameed fail to garner the required 39 votes after falling just three votes short.

According to Article 221 of the Constitution, “The President shall appoint as Prosecutor General a person approved by a majority of the total membership of the People’s Majlis from the names submitted to the People’s Majlis as provided for in law.”

Following the previous parliament’s rejection of Hameed, President Yameen refused to submit a new nominee and opened up a third call for applicants, announcing his intention to nominate Hameed for a second time to the newly elected 18th People’s Majlis.

The PG’s post has been vacant since November 25 following the resignation of Ahmed Muiz ahead of a scheduled no-confidence motion in parliament.

Meanwhile, Acting PG Hussein Shameem’s resignation in early May brought the criminal justice system to a halt after state prosecutors went on strike, citing concerns of a lack of accountability in the absence of a PG.

However, the Supreme Court ordered prosecutors to resume work “without any further excuse” and ordered the seniormost official at the PG office to assume the PG’s responsibilities.


5 thoughts on “Majlis approves Criminal Court Judge Muhthaz Muhsin for prosecutor general post”

  1. This shows that current Government is not really a family affairs as claimed by Nasheed.

  2. With this vote, we see couple of interesting things happening.

    Yameen undermining his brother Gayyoom very openly in public, sending a clearer message than before, that he will not allow Gayoom direct influence in governance, but will be kept at arms length.

    Instead of abiding with his brother's wishes, Yameen conspired a favourable vote from his rivals, MDP, using the newly elected Deputy Speaker Reeko Moosa who at last minute pulled off a 13/20 favour of three line whip.

    This vote also shows that JP is becoming less relevant in today's parliamentary dynamics. Even when JP members abstained, PPM together with MDP was able to put a "puppet" of Yameen into the PG seat.

    If we follow today's twitter feed, the general sentiment is many in MDP top tier are not comfortable with the hidden coalition Reeko Moosa forging with Yameen and Adeeb. The fact that Bigey abstained is proof of this in the parliament floor.

  3. Congratulation to MPs to paving the way for corruption in the criminal justice system...

  4. Hero, it's still a family affair, but now the adopted brother, Adheeb is just more powerful than the actual family. Adheeb will eventually destroy PPM as he doesn't give a damn about PPM or Maldives. His only concern is his bank account or accounts.

  5. The Office of the Prosecutor General is a minivan muassaa and I can see MDPs point of view that a family member of the President as PG may not be the best choice for a PG. At the same time I find it unacceptable that the MDP PG group allowed a free line whip on the vote for Criminal Court Judge Muhthaz Muhsin for the post of prosecutor general (PG). I understand that Reeko Moosa led this intiative and lobbied for the MPs to vote for Muhthaz Muhsin. Whatever their reasons for their vote, and whatever justifications they have for their choice, for me they failed the party they represent. The MDP is a party that has stood for justice. Voting for Muhthaz Muhsin in my view, does not support that stand.


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