The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) disciplinary committee has today expelled MP and Deputy Speaker of parliament ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik for breaching the party parliamentary group’s three-line whip in three Majlis votes.
The MDP’s National Executive Council last week asked the committee to penalise Moosa within seven days along with five others after their absence from a Majlis vote to dismiss former Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz and Justice Muthasim Adnan.
Others absent from the vote were Vaikaradhoo MP Mohamed Nazim, Velidhoo MP Abdulla Yamin Rasheed, Mulaku MP Ibrahim Naseer, Felidhoo MP Ahmed Marzooq, and Kurendhoo MP Abdul Bari Abdulla.
Disciplinary committee Chair Mohamed Shifaz said Moosa had failed to answer summons to answer charges, forcing the committee to levy harsher penalties.
The remaining five MPs have been ordered to issue a public apology as they breached the party’s three-line whip only once.
Shifaz said that if Moosa wished to rejoin the party, he must publicly apologise and gain 50 new members. However, he will not be allowed to contest in any party primary or stand for a leadership position in the next five years.
Moosa – who had announced he would contest the MDP’s presidential primaries in 2018 – is reported to be signing for the ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) tomorrow.
Opposition aligned Raajje TV has meanwhile reported that the government has awarded Moosa’s Heavy Load Pvt Ltd three islands for resort development following the termination of an agreement to reclaim land in Hulhumalé.
The five other MPs will be dismissed from any elected or appointed posts within the party and from chair or deputy chair positions in any People’s Majlis committees.
If the MPs breach a whip-line again, they will be suspended from contesting party primaries or leadership positions for five years.
Nazim is to be suspended from participating in National Executive Council or Parliamentary Group votes for three months, while Yamin, Bari, Marzooq, and Naseer are to be suspended for six months.
Nazim is also to be dismissed from party committees for three months, and suspended from contesting party primaries or standing for leadership positions for the next two years.
Yamin, Bari, Marzooq, and Naseer are to be dismissed from party committees for six months, and barred from contesting party primaries or standing for leadership positions for the next three years.
Shifaz said he believes the party must also penalise MP Ibrahim ‘Mavota’ Shareef for submitting amendments to the Judicature Act that resulted in the dismissal of Faiz and Muthasim.
The MDP rejected the proposal immediately and Shareef voted against amending the Judicature Act and the dismissal of the two judges.
Shareef was expelled from the MDP in 2007 for refusing to cooperate with an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment. He went on to join the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) before rejoining the MDP in 2013 when the DRP decided to back Nasheed during November’s presidential polls.
MDP has said the sudden removal of the two Supreme Court Judges is an attempt to stack the judiciary in President Abdulla Yameen’s favour.
Commonwealth groups have described the judges’ removal as unconstitutional, saying it constituted a clear breach of the Commonwealth Principles to which the government of Maldives has subscribed.
“As a result the independence of the judiciary and the Rule of Law have been “severely jeopardised”.
The International Commission of Jurists said the Maldivian parliament and executive “have effectively decapitated the country’s judiciary and trampled on the fundamental principles of the rule of law and separation of powers in a democratic State.”
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