MDP appeals for international assistance over “intolerable situation” of judiciary

The ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has appealed for assistance from the international community over the “increasingly blatant collusion between politicians loyal to the former autocratic President, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, and senior members of the judiciary – most of whom were appointed by Gayoom during his thirty years of power.”

In a statement by the MDP forwarded to diplomatic missions and United Nations offices by the Foreign Ministry concerning the events of October 20, the ruling party explained that a protest was launched against “an ongoing, highly-politicised Supreme Court case” contesting the eligibility of MP Mohamed Musthafa for the May 2009 parliamentary elections.

“The Supreme Court case is the latest installment of an ongoing attempt by Gayoom to secure a parliamentary seat for his son, Gassan Maumoon,” the statement alleged, noting that Gassan was defeated by the MDP MP for Thimarafushi constituency.

The High Court however ordered a re-vote after Gassan challenged the result, which was won again by Musthafa.

“Having lost two votes – both recognised as free and fair by the independent Elections Commission (EC) – the Gayoom family again turned to the courts for help,” the statement continues.

“Umar Naseer, a senior member of Gayoom’s political party [Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM)], lodged a case at the Supreme Court claiming that Musthafa had not been eligible to run for parliament because of an outstanding debt owed to the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) – a bank which became insolvent and had its loans and debts taken over by the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA).”

Musthafa at Supreme Court

After the MMA clarified to Musthafa that he did not have an outstanding debt, the EC decided that he was eligible to stand for the Thimarafushi seat.

However, Umar Naseer told Minivan News in May 2010 that Musthafa “has to pay US$31,231.66 (Rf401,326.83)” to the MMA and that the Civil Court ruled on August 28, 1997 that the debt should be paid by MP Musthafa and his company Seafood International Private Limited.

“We raised the issue at the Elections Commission (EC) during the parliamentary elections and the former president of EC said that there was no debt which should be paid by Mustafa,” Umar said.”That’s why I took it to the Supreme Court.”

Before Musthafa was summoned to court last Thursday – which prompted the MDP national council to pass a resolution to launch a protest – the Supreme Court last conducted a hearing on the case on March 17 this year.

At last Thursday’s hearing, Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz said the apex court wished to “clarify a few points after reviewing the case.”

The Supreme Court Justices asked Musthafa a number of questions regarding the case, including if he had issued a personal guarantee for the loan.

Musthafa said he had not given any personal guarantee and insisted that the loan was issued to Seafood International Pvt Ltd.


Following the MDP’s protest alleging that the judiciary and the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) were subject to political manipulation by the opposition and members of the former government, opposition parties accused the ruling party of attempting to exert undue influence over the judiciary by “intimidating judges,” warning of “dangerous” consequences for the nation.

The MDP statement meanwhile contended that Musthafa’s case “fits a pattern whereby cases filed against MDP supporters and those who sympathise with the MDP are fast-tracked while more serious cases against family and friends of Gayoom never reach court.”

On August 29, Independent MP Ismail Abdul Hameed was abruptly summoned to the Criminal Court and sentenced to one year and six months banishment about 30 minutes before a crucial vote on the government’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) legislation. The Kaashidhoo MP had been voting with the ruling party on the economic reform bills.

The statement also referred to the corruption trial of Deputy Speaker of Parliament Ahmed Nazim, charged with multiple counts of defrauding the former Atolls Ministry, which remains “indefinitely delayed.”

In the statement, MDP Chairman ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik accused senior judges of being “intent on defending the political and economic interests of their erstwhile friends and former paymasters from the regime of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.”

In May this year, the JSC, the watchdog body charged with overseeing the judiciary, abolished its Complaints Committee citing “efficiency”, with complaints against judges subsequently forwarded for review by the legal section and Chair Adam Mohamed Abdulla, a Supreme Court Justice.

Last year the JSC received 143 complaints concerning the conduct of judges. By its own statistics none were tabled in the commission, and only five were ever replied to. Chair of the former complaints commission, Aishath Velezinee, was meanwhile stabbed in the street in January this year.

The JSC also failed to table or even acknowledge receipt of a report on the judiciary produced by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), which questioned whether the JSC’s possessed the technical ability and knowledge to investigate complaints and hold the judiciary accountable, as well as its independence.

Moosa went on to accuse the judiciary of “using the sanctity of judicial independence to protect the status quo and to remain unreformed. Nearly every judge appointed by Gayoom has retained his place on the bench – despite the fact that many of them have no legal qualifications whatsover.”

“We therefore look to our friends in the international community to help us address this difficult situation, and to support efforts to secure that which we all want – a strong, independent, professional judiciary, responsible to the needs of the society it serves,” the statement concludes.

Meanwhile in a statement released yesterday, the party revealed that its Councillor AbuBakr Fulhu “was unexpectedly called to the High Court for sentencing in a case originally brought in 2009 under Article 88(a) which contended that he had encouraged his brother to argue with a magistrate.

“The Criminal Court originally acquitted him, however, the local MP (an ally of Gayoom) has been pressing for a review by the High Court. Today, two years after the last hearing on the case, the High Court has suddenly summoned Aboo Bakr Fulhu for sentencing.”

The ruling party contended that the move was “clearly part of a concerted campaign, and we thus call on the international community to be vigilant. For example, senior members of Gayoom’s party, such as Umar Naseer, are informing the public about the outcome of cases against MDP supporters – before the verdicts have even been handed down, and are publicly predicting that many more MDP MPs will be brought before the courts and will be stripped of their seats”.


21 thoughts on “MDP appeals for international assistance over “intolerable situation” of judiciary”

  1. Why is it that the STATE foreign ministry is used as MDP's post office? Is this not corruption by abuse of power?

    And so far, MP Adhil's case is still pending without a court hearing, and this is regarding a child abuse case.

  2. The ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and it's activists are trying to rule the Maldives by fear. The underlying reason for MDP to create mayhem is because they know very clearly that as because of the case of MP Muthafa their is a possibility of loosing an MDP seat in the Parliament. As Musthafa has an outstanding debt, according to the Law he cannot hold a Parliament seat. It's as clear as black and white.

    International community knows the two faces of the current regime. International community knows that MDP has used Gayoom as their trump card. They are not blind. So even if Reeko Moosa uses Foreign Ministry to send a message to the international community, they do not want to meddle in the internal affairs of a country. They know the extent of corruption in the country and the father of mega corruption Reeko Moosa. They also know that the separation of powers is only on paper and there is an overwhelming control of Judiciary, Police, and Parliament by the current dictatorial regime.

  3. From the frying pan into the fire! Replacing one dictator lead to another more hardcore dictator ruling the Maldives!!!!

  4. How easily we bandy about the word 'dictator'.

    Anni is not a dictator - the institutions he has established are not working as they should; he is not doing himself any favours by surrounding himself with yes men and former-activist chronies; and there is a lot that is wrong with the current government.

    But he is not a dictator. Far from it.

    We are doing ourselves no favours by using this word so very cheaply.

    Just as we are doing ourselves no favours by using the word democracy so cheaply.

  5. A better part of justice system is ripe with corruption. Judges are controlled by Gayyoom's loyalists who have used their wealth to that extent. We have to combat and liberate the system by kicking out the unwanted who have chosen to sell off their soul.

  6. MDP,why do you run so fast into international arena always? Don't you have the credibility to resolve the problems in this country by yourself? You are the ruling party and should have the capability to do so. One such means of doing is by talking. You can run and talk with the international community about our issues but you would not talk with the people and opposition parties of the country? Why is it like this? Your problem is that you want to rule like a dictator as well, your problem is that you want to take revenge from Qayyoom as well, your problem is that you want to be superior in everyway and not listen to anyone else. You came to power by a coalition, but have thought of why almost all of your coalition partners have left you? Your coalition partners brought you to power because they didn't want to bring back Qayyoom, but your mismanagement and bad policies have made them all realise that your not better than Qayyoom in anyway. Stop crying infront of the world, try to face your challenges and resolve them in the best interest of the people of Maldives, not in the best interest of yourself and MDP.

  7. Ziyan on Wed, definitely we have the capacity to solve the problems.
    Why Maldivian judiciary is behaving this way is because the head of our executive power is too lenient.
    It is time that he takes serious actions through parliament without beating the bush.

  8. I am a member of MDP but this is not the way to go forward.

    Democracy is democracy. If the majority of the Public thinks the Judiciary is corrupt then the Majlis should sort it out. MDP cannot say Majlis is corrupt as there was an election and the public voted these MPs.

    In fact most of the MPs left the DRP to join MDP after they got elected. So if there is a problem with the Judiciary then MDP should raise this issue with the Majlis and sort it out.

    When they do these silly things, the International Community would rightly think that when MDP cannot gets its own way they accuse the Judiciary of being corrupt.

    They are destroying democracy in Maldives by trying to be in Government. This is not the right approach at all and they all should obey the rule of law. If Mustapha has a criminal conviction or a debt to pay and failed it, then he should not be in the Majlis. That is the rule and there cannot be one rule for MDP members and another rule for others.

    As for Gayoom, if they have evidence then they should prosecute him. At least put the facts forward so that the Public can judge them.

  9. This is what happen when minority has to rule over majority. MDP has to accept they are minority in Maldives, they cannot rule as they wish on majority, even international community knows this.

  10. @Salim

    "As Musthafa has an outstanding debt, according to the Law he cannot hold a Parliament seat. It’s as clear as black and white."

    Is it really? After reading the story, I gather that the loan was not a personal one, but a business loan to a limited company. I don't know the full details of Company Law in the Maldivies, but I would assume that it's based largely on a similar format to the English one.

    That means, Musthafa won't be personally liable for any of the loans, but the Company would be. Normally, under the law, the Company is a completely separate entity (assuming a Limited Liability Company).

    Of course, being the Maldives, such technicalities matter far less than emotions!

  11. Maumoon is over 80 years and rest of ppm members are old. Let us be respectful to them coz they wont be with for long. Future is clear, Rome was not built in one day.

  12. @Ahmed bin Addu
    Supreme Court is not a trial court, the case regrading Musthafa it is not Supreme court's business to go on trail to see whether Musthafa or some one else took the loan. The case is to clarify a verdict from high court in Maldives which Musthafa didn't abide. In that verdict its crystal clear Musthafa is responsible to repay the money.

  13. @Ahmed bin Addu bin Suvadheeb.

    Musthafa is the guarantor of the loan. So when the company fails its solely his responsibility.

    A precedent for this have been made in the Case of Chandhanee Loan Shark brothers case in which Gasim was the guarantor.

  14. May be Maldivians are naturally attuned to live on rough seas on small sail boats? Sometimes boats capsize, they run of food, water. People only hope to live till the end a trip from one island to the other. There is no need for longer term plans.

    Could it be that evolution has shaped fishermen's minds to be more in tune with rough elements on the ocean. Could it be that Maldivains are more in touch with their true nature with chaos?

  15. @ Manik

    We do not have good and efficient judiciary. Recently, a lady who killed her new born was given six months; but any person caught with sex toy is given three to six years. Why? Some persons caught red-handed with drugs and foreign currency are set free. Why? A person apprehended 14 times by police is set free. Why?

    Judiciary reforms are required for efficient, quick and just judiciary.

  16. Lol. I've visited this country before. Such silly people.

    "MDP appeals for international assistance over “intolerable situation” of judiciary"


    What is it this time? Whatever it is, I'm sure it will be British taxpayer money well spent. Glad to be of assistance.

  17. @John Campbell

    Why yes. They do.

    And it's working just fine thank tiy very much. Courtesy of the British taxpayer! 🙂


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