MDP Parliamentary Group call for Gasim’s removal from JSC

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MPs have called for the removal of opposition Jumhoory Party (JP) leader and MP ‘Burma’ Gasim Ibrahim from the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) – the commission mandated to appoint and investigate complaints against judges.

Gasim is a well-known business tycoon, media owner and leader of the opposition-aligned Jumhoree Party (JP). He was in 2010 accused by the government of treason and bribery after phone calls of his conversations with People’s Alliance MP and the former President’s half-brother Abdulla Yameen were leaked to the media.

Gasim replaced opposition Dhivehi Rayithunge Party (DRP) MP Dr Afrashim Ali on the JSC, after Afrashim was dismissed by parliament 38-34 in favour amid claims of misconduct and corruption. Gasim was then narrowly appointed to the judicial watchdog after 38 members of of the 77 member parliament voted in his favour, to 36 against.

Former President’s Member on the JSC, Aishath Velezinee, observed at the time that Gasim “is a man of wealth, and every seat he has ever sat on has benefited him. We can expect the same from the JSC. I don’t think anyone is under any other impression. The people’s representatives have sold out to the devil, and this is a very sad day.”

DRP Deputy Leader Ibrahim Shareef also expressed reservations at the time, suggesting the Gasim’s extensive business interests could prove a potential conflict of interest when overseeing the Maldivian justice system: “That is a real possibility. I think the judiciary must be totally free from political influence. We have to see how this unfolds – this is a small country and it is hard to have complete impartiality.”

“What is required is sincerity. We need to build a judiciary that is competent, efficient and capable of delivering justice,” Shareef told Minivan News in June 2011.

Speaking at an MDP rally today, several MDP MPs and senior figures accused Gasim and Speaker of the Parliament Abdulla Shahid – both of whom are members of the JSC representing parliament – of not fulfilling their legal duties on the committee.

The MDP called on Gasim and Shahid to carry out the responsibilities at the JSC and conclude cases presented against Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed, to end the current political tensions in Male’. The JSC’s investigation of the judge stalled after the Civil Court issued an injunction to its own watchdog body, which the JSC obeyed.

The MDP Parliamentary Group expressed concern that the judicial watchdog was defunct while the situation of the country was deteriorating, accusing the JSC of taking no action against the judge which had allowed him “to destroy the entire judiciary.”

Speaking to Minivan News, Spokesperson for MDP Parliamentary Group’s Mohamed Shifaz said that they had not officially decided to remove Gasim.

”What we want most is a professional JSC. If removing unprofessional persons to professionalise the JSC is the only way then we will do it,” Shifaz said. ”It is possible that the MDP Parliamentary Group will make such a decision.”

He said that JSC members attending protests and trying to defend a particular judge was not very professional.

”I believe that JSC members protesting is an ethical issue,” he said, in reference to Gasim who has been a key opposition figure throughout last week’s rallies in Male’.

Speaking at the MDP rally last night, MDP Chairperson and MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik said that the citizens of the Maldives handed the administration to President Mohamed Nasheed to establish justice.

Gasim did not respond to calls and text messages at time of press.


20 thoughts on “MDP Parliamentary Group call for Gasim’s removal from JSC”

  1. Gasim can't read or write so he does not have the capacity to respond to your messages.

  2. @Shifaz - there is nothing unprofessional about JSC member trying to protect judges. This particular judge that you mention is I assume the one that was abducted by the army led by President Nasheed, who is the head of your party. It would be unprofessional of JSC members if they do not try to protect this judge.

  3. @Hameed

    Politicising an important institution Like JSC in any country is the beginning of an end to a Nation.
    As long as Justice is served, Peace will never prevail.

  4. Hameed of course the JSC would try and protect him as he is their bread and butter. Gasim have cases against him and he still sits on the JSC. How can that be?
    It is as if you have a drug pusher who is a judge.

  5. Qasim cannot respond to calls and texts because I hear he is busy celebrating the transfer of several MDP members to his political party.

  6. Qasim Ibrahim is going to be the next President of Maldives. He is also due to become the next Chief Justice of Maldives. I understand he will soon become the next Speaker of Parliament.

    At the same time, he will become the poorest man in the Maldives.

    I understand that he will do that by dumping all his money into the sea.

    He will do that when nobody is watching.

    He has also decided to become a Mullah. His new name will be Sheikh Qasimuddeen Azhari Didi.

  7. Dream on MDP. Your days are gone, courtesy of your own "Iss Leader'. MDP cannot do anything any more, inside the parliament or outside it. You cannot even get two people to come out to protest with you anymore. Did you see Alhan's pathetic effort in front of the Supreme Court; sad state of affairs, considering you are in Government.

  8. "Speaking at the MDP rally last night, MDP Chairperson and MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik said that the citizens of the Maldives handed the administration to President Mohamed Nasheed to establish justice."

    People like Reeko Moosa are THE problem! These "activists" with more brawn than brain created the fine mess we are in. The people may have elected Nasheed to establish justice, but that's a secondary matter now.

    Reeko and his ilk ought to know by now, that they can't have their way totally in this country any longer. Seems to me, that, without a compromise of some sort, the only people who lose in this game are the very same politicians and the citizens of the country.

    Let's say that in a worst case scenario, this continues till 2013 elections. If the MDP is ousted by a super league opposition, do you think that'll be the end of it? I certainly don't think so. History will repeat all over again. The so-called "alliance" of parties is even weaker than the coalition that ousted Gayyoom. This "alliance" won't survive a week of winning an election!

    The rest will be a replay of what started in 2008. There's a way to avoid it, but...

  9. What is important right now is to stop President's Nasheed's dictatorial leadership.I suppose there is no politician at this time who would think in the interest of the nation but only think for his own interest. President Nasheed has become "A Man of Law" than a "Rule of Law".

  10. Reeko Moosa was only an actor and only time will tell whether he understands the reality.
    Its time that all elected MPS should hold compulsory educational qualifications,atleast a degree,if not you are going to have people representatives who are drug peddlars,criminals,gangsters,killers etc. leading an important Government institution called Parliament.Guess the end result.

  11. Parliament's representative to the JSC standing by a Judge, who JSC themselves, declared unfit for his position is disturbing!

  12. Gasim was appointed to the post by the parliament. So how can MDP call for his removal. MDP thinks Maldives, its parliament and its democracy belongs to them. We wont let MDP run this country into dictatorship again.

  13. People like Jabir are a joke. One day he is there and the next day he is here. Now he is with Gasim's party. Tomorrow he will be DRP.

    We know what happens when business people try to rule countries. They DESTROY them.

    If Gasim becomes President who is going to stop him getting all his resorts for 90 years and forgiving his debts to the Maldivian Government.

    Who is going to stop him declaring that only "Flyme" can fly aircrafts.

    He is going to be much worse that Nasheed and Gayoom combined.

    Isn't there any honest Maldivian who is willing to stand up?
    I think we all should look for someone who is not a businessman and who is not a politician to run the country at least for the next 5 years.

  14. @manik on Sat, 28th Jan 2012 12:19 AM

    "I think we all should look for someone who is not a businessman and who is not a politician to run the country at least for the next 5 years."

    I might add one more condition to that; someone who is not a religious fanatic! I'll certainly vote for such a person.

    However, such a person is doomed from the start. Politics is big business. Without big business backing, they cannot get their message across, which is the main reason why most of our politicians are also businessmen!

    The situation is not very different in many advanced countries. Although businessmen are not as overtly active in politics as here, they are very much in the background of all political activities.

    A key difference however, is that there are substantial lobby groups other than businessmen (such as trade unions, environmental groups, Friends of Israel, American Israel Public Affairs Committee etc) that can influence political activity. We have none of that.

  15. would you obey a law passed by parliament permitting alcohol everywhere? I dont think so. The same applies here. Someone who has several cases at court sitting at a body thats said to be the judges watchdog is a recipite for disaster. Would any judge proceed with his cases? They should but they are not. We all know why and its unfair. And you know it.

  16. Manik, We have two good men leading our nation. How about we give them a chance to deliver what they promised us instead of cutting them into ribbons? There is something fundamentally dysfunctional about our society which refuses to take ownership and responsibility for creating and nurturing our nation and tears to pieces the few people who stand up to make a difference.

  17. Shafeea therein lies the problem.

    You believe our President and Vice President are good people and therefore imply that we should tolerate the President's growing use of military might and assumption of powers not granted to him by the Constitution.

    Yet what is democracy without checks and balances.

    Some of us will always reuse to believe in the goodness of those men. In such a case what keeps our government system from losing its credibility altogether. That factor is checks and balances.

    We cannot have a benevolent President granting us a judiciary.

    There are no messiahs in this world Shafeea. I for one refuse to believe it. We need a system in place that has the confidence of the people. That judge needs to be released.

    If the JSC is to be reformed there needs to be broader discussions held about its composition and what part of it needs reform.

  18. Why these JSC members silent when Judge Abdulla was lettint off criminals after criminals? Pl do not forget famous drug narcotics kingpin let off by this same judge. Why this same Judge not taking any action against corrupt politicians? While getting salary from the govt, Judge Abdulla was acting for and on behalf of some opposition members.

  19. Shafeea, I personally have given the 4 years already and nothing much has changed institutionally at all.
    Sure the President and the VP are not to blame for the disasters of the Majlis and the Judiciary to a certain extent.

    BUT and I say this with a capital but because MDP had 9 months with an absolute majority in the Majlis to sort this out and the could not do so.
    I know people like Reeko Moosa very well. I know the people in opposition and I know Gaism too.

    These are not the kind of people who would develop and advance the country against their own selfish rights. A lot of things that this government is doing is absolutely wrong.
    Look at Male' International Airport. Sure it was Gayoom who messed it up by appointing incompetent people to run it. MDP had an opportunity to correct this mistake.
    What did they do? They brought back the same man Gayoom appointed and then sold it to GMR against the advice of all top Maldivian Aviation Professionals. He did this by appointing his wife's brother in law after the Chairman refused to sign and resigned.
    This is just one instance. Look at how poor the government functions. It is pathetic.
    I have faith in Anni that he can somehow pull us out but he needs a change in course to do that.
    He needs to get rid of guys like R Moosa and the ilk and then get qualified people and listen to them for once.
    As for VP, don't even mention him. He was a man I had a lot of respect for but his idiocy in politics is beyond belief. As a VP, he cannot undermine his boss, which is the President.
    If he cannot stand what the President is doing then he should tell him privately and if he cannot serve him any longer, then he should resign.
    What he does now has demeaned the position of the VP. I know he is from a different party but when you look at the Sec. General of his party, Topee(Thoufeeg) you would think he is the Press Spokesperson for Gayoom's party.

    tsk, yes I agree with you about business money but I can assure you that there are lots of business people in Maldives who are very honest and patriotic and do not want to get involved in politics yet would support an honest man who would want to save Maldives from disaster.

  20. We cannot assume to know them all personally before we elect them, this is just personalizing things too much !

    Who cares if our politicians rescued little birds from bond and helped old people cross the streets. We elect them on what they said they stood for, and there should be some checks and balances in place to ensure they deliver their promises. This is what the country has failed to do...

    Having said that I too expect our political leaders to be able to at least read and write, after all this is a country that has been boasting about 100% literacy rates for over 2 decades!!!


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