Opposition MPs “purged” as Supreme Court strips Ali Azim, Mohamed Nashiz of parliament seats

The Supreme Court in a 4-3 judgment today stripped Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Ali Azim and Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Mohamed Nashiz of their parliament seats over a decreed debt.

The verdict was delivered in absentia after the pair dismissed their lawyer and a new one was not appointed in time for the re-scheduled session at 5:00pm.

The majority was formed by Justices Abdulla Saeed, Adam Mohamed Abdulla, Ali Hameed Mohamed and Dr Ahmed Abdulla Didi, the same four judge majority which annulled the results of September 7 election following a petition from third-placed candidate Gasim Ibrahim.

Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz Hussain and Justice Abdulla Areef issued dissenting opinions ruling that there were no grounds to disqualify the MPs while Justice Muthasim Adnan reportedly refused to issue a ruling stating that he did not have sufficient time to study the case as he received the testimonies and statements yesterday.

Ali Azim, former MP for mid-Henveiru, joined the MDP from the government-aligned DRP in June this year.

Nashiz, former MP for Raa Alifushi, is a half-brother of DRP Leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali and husband of the party’s deputy leader MP Rozaina Adam. Following the annulled first round of the presidential election on September 7, the DRP decided to back MDP presidential candidate and former President Mohamed Nasheed.

With the provisional support of 10 DRP MPs, the MDP had gained a majority of the 77-member parliament. The opposition party had 34 seats.

The Supreme Court case was filed in November 2012 by Mohamed Haleem, a member of the Jumhooree Party’s (JP’s) legal committee. The last hearing of the case took place almost a year ago.

Haleem contended that the MPs should be removed from parliament following a Civil Court judgment in February 2010 involving non-payment of five credit facilities worth MVR117 million (US$9 million) issued to Funadoo Tuna Products by the Bank of Maldives (BML), for which the pair had signed as loan guarantors.

As the lower court judgment was subsequently upheld by the High Court, the Civil Court in 2012 authorised BML to seize the assets mortgaged for the loans, which included Funadoo island, a yacht, and the Reethi Beach Resort.

While the majority verdict held that mortgaged assets was not cause for disregarding a judgment to settle the debt, Chief Justice Faiz ruled that the guarantors would only have to bear responsibility if the debt could not be settled by selling the mortgaged assets.

The case was submitted to the Supreme Court with reference to article 73(c)(1) of the constitution, which states that a member of the People’s Majlis immediately becomes disqualified if the MP has “a decreed debt which is not being paid as provided in the judgment.”

Article 74 states, “Any question concerning the qualifications or removal, or vacating of seats, of a member of the People’s Majlis shall be determined by the Supreme Court.”

The Supreme Court verdict comes days before voting on a no-confidence motion against Attorney General Azima Shukoor scheduled for October 28.

Moreover, an MDP-sponsored bill on transitional arrangements that require President Dr Mohamed Waheed to step down if an election is not held by November 10 was submitted yesterday (October 23).

“Purge” of MPs

The MDP released a statement on MPs being “purged” today, condemning “the continued harassment and intimidation” of its members through “politically-motivated” court cases.

The party noted that Azim and Nashiz’s case was “fast-tracked a day after a crucial vote in parliament, which saw the MDP and its allies win a parliamentary vote by 43 votes to appoint an MDP member to the independent judicial oversight committee, the Judicial Service Commission.”

“Thus the MDP believes the sudden scheduling of the Supreme Court case against MPs Azim and Nashiz is a deliberate attempt to disqualify them from parliament. The MDP notes that while this case has suddenly been taken up enthusiastically by the Maldivian justice system, corruption charges against government-leaning MPs have been dropped,” the statement read.

The statement also noted that the Criminal Court yesterday issued an arrest warrant for MDP MP Hamid Abdul Ghafoor “in violation of the Parliamentary Privileges Act, during a session of the parliament, while Hamid had in writing informed the court he was unable to attend due to his parliamentary duties.”

Hamid remains in the parliament building at the time of press.

Hamid along with MDP MP Abdulla Jabir is being prosecuted for alleged alcohol and drug use as well as refusal to provide a urine sample to police. The pair were arrested in November 2012 following a police raid on an uninhabited picnic island in Haa Dhaal atoll.

The Supreme Court has lost all credibility in the eyes of Maldivians and the watching world. The judges are working with political leaders of MDPs opponents to further their wishes. These judges are closely linked to the former dictatorship and continuously work to disrupt the democratic process. After invalidating, delaying and obstructing elections, they are now after an MDP parliamentary majority, who have publicly pledged to reform the judiciary,” said MDP Deputy Chairperson Ali Shiyam.

The MDP statement listed the cases of 10 MPs who currently face “politically-motivated charges that threaten their parliament seats.”

The party also noted that its former MP for Thaa Thimarafushi, Mohamed Musthafa, was stripped of his seat over a disputed decreed debt, two weeks after the controversial transfer of presidential power on February 7, 2012.

Police have meanwhile sent cases against MDP MPs Imthiyaz Fahmy, Mohamed Rasheed and Alhan Fahmy to the Prosecutor General’s Office for alleged contempt of court for publicly criticising the Supreme Court.

A Criminal Court case is also ongoing against MDP parliamentary group deputy leader Ali Waheed for allegedly crossing a police barricade in 2010.

The government-aligned Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) meanwhile declared last month that it would seek the removal of MPs through the Supreme Court for challenging rulings of the apex court.

“There is a dispute on whether [MPs] have lost their seats in parliament due to speaking out against Maldives’ Supreme Court’s order and defaming the Supreme Court, and other court’s judges. I would like to inform you we will file this case at the Supreme Court,” PPM legal advisor Mohamed Waheed Ibrahim told the press on September 29.

Maldivian judiciary

The MDP statement noted that a 2004 report on the Maldivian criminal justice system by Professor Paul Robinson, prepared at the request of the then-Attorney General, concluded that “the Maldivian criminal justice system systematically fails to do justice and regularly does injustice”.

The party also referred to the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) expressing concern in February 2011 with “the apparent failure of the JSC to fulfil its constitutional mandate of properly vetting and reappointing judges” as well as the “judicialisation of politics”.

Moreover, the MDP noted that in July 2012, the United Nations Human Rights Committee stated that it was “deeply concerned about the state of the judiciary in the Maldives.”

The MDP statement also referred to concerns raised by UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Lawyers and Judges, Gabriela Knaul, in a report on the Maldivian judiciary in May this year.

“Justice must not merely be done but must also be seen to be done, and judges must not only be actually impartial they have to appear impartial to the public,” the party statement quoted Knaul as stating.


19 thoughts on “Opposition MPs “purged” as Supreme Court strips Ali Azim, Mohamed Nashiz of parliament seats”

  1. There is no question that this was an act of revenge by the 4 nitwits in the Supreme Court on the orders of their masters.

    You have to wonder why Allah has not struck a blow on this country when a serial Zina committer (adulterer), with paid prostitutes, continues to pass judgements on other Muslims.

  2. Basis of modern democracy: separation of powers.

    Right now the judiciary is exceeding it's authority by creating rules/laws (election guidelines) instead of controlling of existing rules are followed and is influencing the parliament by dismissing MP's, which should not be possible if proper procedures would exist. All of these things are huge infractions on the area of the legislature.

    The SC is also enforcing, even if it's indirectly, the laws (police interventions), which is executive (government) area.

    And of course the SC is the pinnacle of a corrupt judiciary, where it has got supreme authority.

    The SC obviously does what they are told, and through the SC and other instances like the police and army, and obviously the coup to hijack the government, all powers now fall under the same group of people and 1 individual in particular.

    Conclusion, the Maldives is a pseudo democracy. In fact it's a autocracy in disguise.

  3. the verdicts delivered by illiterate and filthy minds can never be impartial. we see every act politically motivated, the country cant move ahead with democracy which guarantee the liberty and justice.

  4. The question is not whether the verdict is just or unjust. It is the merit of these verdicts. People should all go Ebburun. The Jungiya court now simply became an Orangutan’s play house. Ablho Saeed has family history of severe mental retardation due to inbreeding with close relatives. And everybody knows the condition of Ablo Hameed, a sex maniac. If you give these retards free hand they can destroy Maldives in no time.

  5. The next two weeks-

    - the purge of at least one more MDP aligned MP before the scheduled no confidence motion against AG Azima Shukoor on Monday.
    - Waheed conveniently on holiday to keep JSC unchanged.
    - Azima survives the no confidence motion.
    - A motion to recall Hamza's appointment to JSC is initiated.
    - Supreme court rules to extend Waheed's term until a president is elected.
    - Raajje TV taken off air for being disrespectful towards the court.
    - The police find an unacceptably high number of falsified re-registration forms.
    - PPM and JP file a case against the EC and MDP on behalf of the Maldivian people.
    - Court finds the EC President culpable.
    - Election on hold while Justice is sought.

  6. Well, those 4 in the SC now acting way beyond their mandate should enjoy the good times whilst they last. For sure, as night follows day, they'll face the consequences of their actions past and present, in this world and the hereafter.

    Like I've said before, I'll be at the front row when Ali Hameed gets sent to Hell by stoning to death as required under Islamic Sharia. His screams of agony as he leaves this world are bound to be a million times more painful than "Russian pleasures"!

  7. The timing of the case is surely politically motivated but we must not forget the crime committed by these 2 MPs.
    MPs should set example and not paying their debts is unacceptable.
    Politicians and their friends who think they can escape punishment should think twice before defaulting on loans.

  8. This is a political stunt. They were the same crooks before too.

    But, it's the same with Hamid and Jabir. Thasmeen. Nazim, Yamin, Gasim! All must be booted.

    Otherwise remove those laws. Everyone would want millions of rufiya, unaccountable of course,.. Drink do drugs and refuse police questions, ...these MF make the laws and the talk about privileges they have avoiding them..

    Anni should cut loose all crooks from his core team and focus on nation building, with public confidence, sincerity...

  9. Now digest this. Why do you think we leaked the sex video tape of Judge Ali Hameed ? That is to have his unconditional loyalty to us. Reethi beach Nazim and Hulhumale' Ziyad did a marvelous job. Ali Hameed is fearless now that Alhan cannot intimidate him with the threat of exposing. By the end of 15th November MDP will loose 5 more MP's and have their majority in parliament vanish into thin air. Now go fly a kite

  10. The mastermind knows what he is doing for the good of the country.
    Imagine Maldives without these greedy and unscrupulous MPs who by not repaying their debts are jeopardising the future of this country and worsening the dollar crisis?
    Banks are reluctant to lend because of these idiots who waste our resources thinking they are above the law and have the right to live like kings without working!
    Most of the revenues obtained from taxing resorts and tourists are wasted on luxurious trips abroad with prostitutes and alcohol the main items on the menu.
    Democracy will ruin the country because of these irresponsible MPs; only a strict experienced leader will help the country out of this mess.

  11. I never believed it possible that I would look back at a period of autocratic rule & dictatorship with nostalgia.

    In 2008 at long last we had in place all that was required of a functioning Democracy -The three arms of the state independent of each other, the independent institutions & an increasingly capable civil service. What went wrong?

    Something has definitely gone wrong – BADLY WRONG. I say this because Murder, Rape, Drugs, alcohol related crimes, Gangs & street crimes since 2008 are commonplace in the Maldives. Who is responsible?

    What can you say when a President of the republic is actively seen to perpetrate Kidnapping judges, Bribing members of Parliament, Openly calling for street violence and arson. What can you say when the political elite in open contempt of court? Is there any wonder that no less than 10 MP’s from the MDP are having court cases pending that could if convicted make them loose their seats. Can you imagine ......

    1.Members of parliament accused of breaking the law holing up in the house of parliament to avoid arrest & the state is powerless to do anything.

    2.That If that wasn’t enough the MP’s are NOW seen ganging up to pass laws to apply retroactively to reduce sentences of MP’s for crimes they have already committed and the people go about as if it is the most normal thing under the sun.

    3.What can one say of Judges of questionable morals being allowed to sit before their names are cleared.

    4. What of the now commonplace political blackmailing where peoples privacy is violated.

    Where in the world do the parliamentary priviledges afford MP's to be above the law and afford sanctuary within Parliament halls to fugitives of the law?

    Where in the world do former Attorney Generals openly question the motives behind a majority ruling of 4 Vs 3 – where the margin tells a story to those who want to see.

    Where in the world does the sitting Speaker of the Parliament sits on a public road to disrupt traffic, to make a political point?

    Who is to blame? Who is behind all this lawlessness and spreading widespread corruption in the land?

    Who else but we the citizens. Oh! For a Nasir! Oh for a Stalin! Oh for ANYTHING that would get rid of the cancer eating away at all that we hold sacred - party politics.

    Take home lesson... It never pays to give the rule of law a back-seat. I hope the President sees this & I hope our Western allies see the fruits of their meddling. But then they are masters at double standards - If for nothing else they are BLIND IN ONE EYE. they cant help it!


  12. @ Jason
    It's obvious that you've never been around the world. Enough said.

  13. The political parties to which these two MPs belong to must distance them immediately and suspend them from the party.

  14. (1) Majlis can and has retaliated. After all, the Majlis can decide not to accept the verdict of 4 nitwits!

    (2) The next move has to be to throw Ali Hameed and other discredited individuals out of the Supreme Court! Without that there can be no free and fair election in this country. Cut the snakes head and let it wriggle to death!

  15. These guys together with Thasmeen had taken 50% of total burrowing from BML , the national bank and the money is being used and the idiots are not paying back the loans?

    Still MDP thinks that they have the right to not to pay their loan and then be the MPs.

    When Hamid Abdul Ghafoor is being found smoking cannabis and also driving alcohol on Hodaidhoo, and the current law allows him to get banished to and Island or put him in prison for over 5 years, now MDP want to relax the existing law to suit to thier MP?

    yet these idiots call them selves as democratic champion ?

  16. @Jason - those words are music to the ears of any dictator, especially the Maldives' home grown version/s, but sorry, that script is way out of date. Those words represent an increasingly shrinking part of the once infantilised population, as most of us can (surprise surprise) now think for ourselves. Burn Raaje TV down and there are plenty of alternatives.. this is the new age of information, in case noone's noticed. So, its not enter stage left - but EXIT stage left for that old has-been actor / dictator. The question is: when will he take his cue? This isn't a local soap opera, a family feud or a private fiefdom, this is a country trying to grown up and assume some responsibility for itself, with all the pain and mess that that entails. Tell you what, we don't want to go running back to our (abusive) daddy (grandpa). Been there, done that.


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