MDP to take province issue to Supreme Court

Spokesperson for the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) parliamentary group MP Ahmed Shifaz has said the parliamentary group intends to take the dispute over the province section of the decentralisation bill to the supreme court.

Shifaz said according to the constitution, when the parliament disputes an issue by resolution it has the power to ask for advice from the supreme court.

”The opposition say it is unconstitutional to divide the country in to seven provinces,” Shifaz said, ”so we are going to present a resolution to the parliament, and see what the Supreme Court says,”

He said he hoped the opposition MPs would agree to pass a resolution to hear what the Supreme Court says.

”According to the constitution the Supreme Court is able to give the last word,” he said. ”I hope they agree and pass the resolution.”

MDP MP Ahmed Hamza said the MDP parliamentary group had decided to present a resolution according to the Article 95 of the constitution.

Aricle 95 of the constitution reads as follows: ”The People’s Majlis may by resolution refer to the Supreme Court for hearing and consideration important questions of law concerning any matter, including the interpretation of the Constitution and the constitutional validity of any statute. The Supreme Court shall answer the questions so referred and shall provide the answers to the People’s Majlis, giving reasons for its answers. The opinion shall be pronounced in like manner as in the case of a judgement on appeal to the Supreme Court.”

Hamza said that the opposition MPs claimed that dividing the country into seven provinces was against article 230 [b] of the constitution.

Article 230 [b] of the constitution reads as follows: ”In order to provide for decentralised administration, the President has the power, as provided in law, to create constituencies, posts, island councils, atoll councils and city councils.”

”This is not a constitutional issue, in fact, this is a political issue,” Hamza said, ”we want the Supreme Court to say whether dividing in to seven provinces is against 230 [b] of the constitution.”

Independent MP Mohamed Nasheed said did not wish to comment on the issue yet.

”This might even be a political issue,” he suggested.

Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Ahmed Nihan said it was written in the constitution “in clear words” that the country’s administrative units cannot be divided into seven provinces.

Nihan said the party would not change its stand.

”I do not think the Supreme Court would say we are wrong either,” he said. ”I think our party will not change its mind.”

He said dividing the country into administrative units would make it more difficult for people to get services from the government.

Deputy Leader of DRP Umar Naseer said that presenting a resolution to the parliament to hear what the Supreme Court had to say on the matter “does not have any weight.”

”Although the Supreme Court can say whatever it likes, it’s in the hand of MPs to decide what to do with the provinces,” he said. ”They are just trying to delay this bill.”

He said that MDP MPs were already aware that people did not want to divide the country’s administrative units into seven provinces.


9 thoughts on “MDP to take province issue to Supreme Court”

  1. Can I please point out that Umar Naseer just suggested that the Supreme Court is unimportant and without authority in constitutional matters! Ridiculous.

    I'm glad they're taking this to court. Because even if the MPs did pass this bill the way MDP or DRP wanted, there would be the other side that was unhappy and would take it to court anyways. And it is only the Supreme Court which can decide constitutional legitimacy.

  2. What have our country come to? All we hear are what Umar Naseer, Mundhu or Ali Waheed says. If these are the people who control the majlis then we are doomed. These people do not have the temperament to say a decent or logical thing let alone the intelligence. Has Thasmeen gone into hybernation? Or is he too big just like Maumoon to talk in public about heated issues. Is he saving himself just to give lectures when he become the president - just like Maumoon.

  3. Umar Naseer is a joker, isnt he. Why Minivan refer to him on these serious issues is beyond me.

  4. Its high time we give a serious thought about the future of this country. Hearing what VP Dr. Waheed had to say about the "good governance" of this country by the present day governmeent, it appears very clear that there is lack of consensus and deliberations, whihc is an important aspect in a democratic form of government (whether it is formed by a single party or by a colaition of parties). It is quite a surprise that we are walking backwards and bickering over issues rather than finding solutions to the important stressing issues. I for one do not want to see a repetition of the likes of the Former President Qayoom's government in the present day Maldives.

  5. What is an "Atoll" by definition in the constitution? How many atolls does the Maldives have? 21? 26? Is DRP saying that the 21 administrative atolls that exist currently is how the constituencies should be divided. Under what basis was Ari Atoll divided into two administrative atolls, Ari atollhu Uthuru and Dhekunu in the 80's. If atolls can be divided for the purposes of governance and still called "Atolls", why can atolls not be combined for the purposes of governance and still called "Atoll Councils"?

  6. "Mr. Nowhereman"!
    He is "classic", not MAD if you think so!
    He will see everything twice!
    He will have a constant temperature of 104 degrees Celsius!!!!!!
    He will be admitted to hospital at anytime! Or; would he be?

  7. Criminal Court, Civil Court, Juvenile Court, High Court, Supreme Court...wonder since when MDP had the MFBlls to respect decisions and ruling of the legislative bodies. Now if the ruling goes otherwise, they are going to go bickering about in their holy (unholy) "haruge" that the Judge was "a bloke off the past 30-years" or is "a child molester" or whatever of the likes. All this is apparently very clear from the tones of some of the MDP Parliamentarians (especially the likes of those who know the least about science of politics). MDP need to tone down their verbala attacks against those who do not blindly support their policies. Its time to restructure the party in the best interest of the state. Its pathetic to watch the charade of these so called "politicians". Well just have to wait and see and whats next. Checkmate!

  8. Bravo! At last everyone remembers that a Supreme Court now exists in the Maldives.

    Contrary to what deranged lunatics might say, on matters of interpretation with regard to the Constitution, the Supreme Court DOES HAVE THE FINAL SAY!!!

    However, retarded politician-wannabes might be trying to point out that they suspect the MDP of being able to exert influence on the Supreme Court and therefore, will resort to publicly denying the authority and validity of the democratic institutions established in our country. Sigh! I truly wish the DRP had thought twice and then thrice about allowing Umar Naseer into their fold.

  9. On a more serious note: The questions regarding the issue of provincial authorities and local government by elected councils are many and are hardly answered in a way in which the laity can understand.

    Governing councils appear to possess an authority which is almost federal while a clear separation of powers and responsibilities between them and provincial authorities need to be communicated to the people. How much influence can the central government exert on elected officials in said councils? Is this part of a long-term plan to phase the Maldives into a federal system of governance (albeit one unsupported by realities of population density but favorable to the logistical nightmare that is the Maldives).


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