MPs with ‘decreed’ debt face disqualification from parliament

An article of the constitution stating that members of parliament with unpaid debts face immediate disqualification from the Majlis stands to be tested in the Supreme Court, after a spate of cross-party accusations on the subject.

Article 73 [c]of the constitution states, “A person shall be disqualified from election as, a member of the People’s Majlis, or a a member of the People’s Majlis immediately becomes disqualified, if he has a decreed debt which is not being paid as provided in the judgment.”

Deputy Leader of the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) Umar Naseer has filed a case at the Supreme Court claiming that the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP for Thimarafushi Mohamed Mustafa has an unpaid debt dating back to 1997 and should therefore be unseated.

However the MP has said there was “no doubt” of his eligibility for remaining an MP, dismissing the case filed against him. The Supreme Court has concluded its hearings on the case but has yet to deliver a verdict.

Umar argued that MP Mustafa should not have been eligible to be a candidate in last year’s parliamentary elections ”because he had a proven debt which was not paid.”’

“He has to pay US$31,231.66 (Rf401,326.83) to Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), which is now bankrupted and its loans and debts have been taken over by the Maldives Monitary Authority (MMA),” Umar said.

Umar said that on 28 August 1997, the civil court ruled that the debt should be payed by MP Mustafa 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,” he said.”That’s why I took it to the Supreme Court.”

But, Mustafa claimed he inquired with the MMA about the outstanding debts.

‘The MMA said that there was no debt that I should pay,” Mustafa said, ”That’s why I ran in the parliamentary elections.”

Mustafa added that the Elections Commission (EC) also investigated the case and ruled that he was eligible.

‘They are trying to defame my character,” he said. ”Umar Naseer is a politically insane person.”

Last month, the Male’ municipality asked the attorney general to file a suit against Mustafa to recover unpaid rent for a plot he leased for a restaurant in artificial beach.

MP Mustafa is one of several MPs who have been variously accused of having outstanding unpaid debts.

Namira Engineering was sentenced last week to pay Rf116,497 to the State Trading Organisation (STO). People’s Alliance MP and Deputy Speaker of Parliament Ahmed Nazim, who was former managing director of Namira Engineering before he resigned from the company, said he had left it three years ago and has no connection with the debt.

On 8 January, a criminal case involving Nazim, Eydhafushi MP Ahmed “Redwave” Saleem and former Atolls Minister Abdullah Hameed, was sent to Prosecutor General’s Office.

On 31st of January, Peoples Alliance party leader Yameen Abdul Gayoom sued the DRP leader-elect Ahmed Thasmeen Ali to recover an unpaid debt.

On 8 December 2009, Sultans of the Sea, a company affiliated with DRP Leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali, was ordered to pay Rf654 million to Bank of Maldives.

The BML audit report released last year revealed that US$633 million worth of loans was issued on 2008. Of the US$633 million, US$45 million was granted to Sultans of the Seas and US$36 million to Fonnadhoo Tuna Products.

MP Thasmeen did not respond to Minivan News at time of press.


6 thoughts on “MPs with ‘decreed’ debt face disqualification from parliament”

  1. Mustafa speaking about his own credibilty...I wonder what more credibilty is left in him. I first heard of Seafood Mustafa in 1985 and yet heard so much default in payments and cheating on islanders.

  2. umar has opened up a can of worms that will only backfire on the DRP, who owe the state a fortune from Maumoon's time. thasmeen especially

  3. well, i ve never seen a clean parliment in my life. even in Uk same thing happend. the difference is that they usually resign after such scandles. but not in maldives, Musthamfaa, Thasneem, Nazim, Salim, must resign.

  4. To see a clean parliament in Maldives is a distant dream!

    Our parliament did have some solid parliamentarians, but they have been outdated perhaps because they did not have enough money to buy off hungry voters who in the past had been and were been "purchased" perhaps with the people's money or forged ones! It is history!

    Before the last Presidential election, there were rumors of money printing quality printers were imported! God knows the truth!

    But a many among the current display are real pains, fakes and 5 year term overnight become politicians cum parliamentarians!

  5. Do you think people who break other people’s backbones also should be banned from politics? I do

  6. Umar, don't worry about only RF100,000 or so. Worry about RF1,000,000,000 (One Billion in equivalent MRF for US$ loans that Thasmeen has not paid). Due to this Bank of Maldives is sucking our blood by forcing all of us to take Visa Debit Cards or Visa Credit Cards rather than normal Debit Cards. Visa Debit Cards and Visa Credit Cards cahrge US$35 and US$50 per year respectively. Bank of Maldives has about 400,000 accounts, netting them MRF 257,000,000 (MRF257 million). In addition to this, each account holder pays MRF5 per month giving them a total of MRF 24,000,000 (MRF 24 million). All that money is taken to suck the blood of us -- the helpless laypersons -- just to keep BML afloat. If not, BML would have gone "belly up" back in 2008.
    In addition to these, there are many loans from Ministry of Finance for cronies of Gay-yoom. All these interest free loans stopped all the development projects for the islands, cost us our education and healthcare. Yet these "thugs" are revered in various circles due to their immense power in controling news media. One thing we know for sure is, Gay-yoom's thugs are very good in their PR skills.


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