The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has filed a no-confidence motion against the Prosecutor General (PG) Ahmed Muiz today (October 24) claiming that that he had failed in taking action against the police and the military officers who mutinied against former President Mohamed Nasheed on February 2012.
Nasheed was forced to step down after his decision to arrest the Chief Judge of Criminal Court Abdulla Mohamed led to twenty-two days of continuous anti-government protests escalating into the mutiny. Following the ousting of its government, the then-ruling MDP alleged that Nasheed had been ousted in a bloodless coup d’état.
Despite the claims, a Commission of National Inquiry (CoNI) established by Nasheed’s successor Dr Mohamed Waheed – including a Singaporean judge, a representee nominated by Nasheed, and three other members handpicked by Waheed – concluded that the transfer did not amount to a coup, proclaiming Waheed appointment to have been legal.
However, the CoNI’s final report admitted that both officers of the police and military were involved in several unlawful activities during the change of government, making recommendations to the government to take action against them.
The MDP in its statement argued that the CoNI report had given clear evidence of gross misconduct by the police and the military that included brutalizing protesters and undermining fundamental rights guaranteed to the people by the constitution.
The party alleged that the PG – despite having the power, authority, and the mandate to look into such actions – had failed to take any action against the wrongdoing noted in the CoNI report.
Other reasons for filing the motion, the statement claimed, included the failure to come up with any results despite being mandated to oversee the functioning of the country’s criminal justice system, and the prioritising of personal over national interests when ordering investigations into criminal wrongdoings.
The statement further alleged that the PG has undermined the rights of the people due to the PG’s negligence in carrying out his duties.
The party also claimed that the PG had been silent to several massive discrepancies within the courts and had refused to act even at times when actions by the courts were obviously in contrast with laws and democratic norms.
Does not hold the qualities required by the constitution: MDP
“Based on aforementioned reasons, [we] file a case requesting the parliament to take no-confidence motion as per section 178(a) of the Parliamentary Regulations, against the Prosecutor General Ahmed Muiz, as he does not hold the qualities of an Independent and Impartial Prosecutor General as required by the Article 220 of the constitution,” read the statement.
Prosecutor General Muiz has come under heavy fire from the MDP for recent criminal charges filed against its senior party members, including its parliamentarians. The party has accused Muizz of being biased and politically aligned with government parties.
MDP presidential candidate Nasheed has previously alleged that Muiz’s independence and impartiality had been compromised in return for his job security.
Nasheed at the time claimed that the PG had fashioned criminal charges against people in such a fashion as to appease government-aligned groups in the parliament, thus ensuring he can remain in his position.
“Hamid Abdul Ghafoor…is facing charges for possessing alcohol and narcotics… A similar kind of thing was found from the suit case of Ahmed ‘Sun travel’ Shiyam [Leader of Maldivian Development Alliance],” said Nasheed said at the time.
“But the Prosecutor General did not notice that both cases had the same offence,”
However, following the recent decision by the government-aligned Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) to support Nasheed, the opposition group has now become the majority in parliament.
The opposition MDP currently commands the support of 44 MPs that includes 34 members of the party and 10 from the DRP.
The MDP has meanwhile also filed similar no-confidence motions against the Attorney General, Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim, Parliament’s Deputy Speaker Ahmed Nazim and Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb for their roles in the government’s attempt to stall the presidential elections.