Former Attorney General Husnu Suood, who resigned yesterday together with the rest of President Nasheed’s cabinet in protest against the supposed “scorched earth” politics of opposition MPs, has confirmed that the government has arrested two MPs on charges of corruption relating to vote buying in parliament.
When asked if the government has solid evidence to substantiate these allegations, Suood replied that “there are reasons to believe that some corrupt activities have taken place.”
Suood said “there are statements given by certain individuals that these activities have taken place. Based on those statements, and complaints, there are reasons to believe that corrupt activities have taken place. On that basis the government is proceeding.”
Jumhooree Party (JP) leader Gasim Ibrahim, also the MP of Maamigili, and leader of the People’s Alliance (PA) Abdulla Yaameen, the MP for Mulaku, were arrested last night.
“If there is an allegation [of bribery] it could lead to loss of confidence in a state institution,” Suood said on TVM last night. “Selling votes for money is something the president has to investigate. Otherwise there will be no respect for the Majlis (parliament),” he said.
Suood said he was confident the government’s evidence would stand up to scrutiny: “I think the evidence will stand,” he said.
Gasim and Yameen appeared at the high court today following a police appeal against the conditions of the warrant issued last night by the criminal court.
Speaking at a press conference this morning at the President’s Office, Suood expressed strong concern at the amendments to the Financial Bill proposed by the opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), highlighting article 7: “Any state asset should be given, sold or leased or any subsidy or aid to any person only under legislation approved by the parliament”, and article 10(a): “any aid given by the state to any persons or to a specific person should only be given under legislation approved by the parliament.”
If the Financial Bill was ratified and parliament gained the authority to dictate aid and subsidies, “it will [jeopardise] all sorts of subsidies and aid the government provides to people, except for the elderly allowance,” Suood claimed.
Former Minister for Fisheries and Agriculture Dr Ibrahim Didi said that the bill would also jeapordise subsidies for fisherman, which was ”unacceptable.”
”We do not want salaries from the people if we cannot provide the services we want to provide them.” said Dr Didi.
Suood added that the government could not resort to the Supreme Court to overturn parliamentary rulings, “because we filed two cases in the Supreme Court, and they ruled it was not the position of the government to file cases in the Supreme Court.”
”I do not believe that the Supreme Court can rule fairly.”
State institutions had failed, Suood said, senior officials of the judiciary were “irresponsible”, and the independent commissions were operating like “small governments.”
“All of this has brought the government to a standstill,” he said.
Parliament deadlocks over detained MPs
Meanwhile, parliament this morning was also brought to a standstill after DRP MPs insisted that parliament could not go ahead without the presence of the two arrested MPs, as legally mandated.
Speaker Abdullah Shahid read out a letter to parliament from Police Commissioner Ahmed Faseeh, which stated that the MPs could not be released for the sitting or to attend committee meetings as required by parliamentary rules due to “security concerns”.
DRP MP Ali Waheed said there was “no rule of law” remaining in the country after police refused to comply with the court order to bring the MPs before court.
That court order was issued after midnight after a request by former Attorney General Azima Shukoor, lawyer representing the two opposition leaders.
The Attorney General’s Office has appealed the court order at the High Court this morning.
Speaker Shahid was unable to finish reading the as the chamber erupted in acrimonious arguments between MPs of the opposing parties. He briefly appealed to Ali Waheed and DRP MP Ahmed Nihan to sit down, before calling the sitting to a halt.
The mood in parliament today was “very nervous,” said Independent MP Mohamed Nasheed.
“I don’t think the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and DRP were even able to talk to each other. I was very frustrated that people we are normally quite jovial with – such as [MDP MPs] Mariya Didi and Eva Abdulla – are not even able to make eye contact.”
He said the letter from Commissioner Faseeh and a second from the Chief of Defense had angered the opposition MPs, who argued that the Chief of Defense “should not be dictating when parliament should be held – it is not his business and we are not under ministerial rule.”
On the subject of the vote-buying allegations against MPs Yameen and Gasim, Nasheed said he did not know “why the Attorney General is singling them out with allegations of vote buying.”
Nasheed said many parliamentarians were aware of past discussions concerning situations where “independent MPs had been approached by sources related to the government in a bid to increase their strength and try to gain a majority.”
He confirmed that parliament has a standing order preventing an MP from being arrested “while a no confidence motion is in place against the President, the Vice President, a cabinet member, head of an independent institution or the Speaker. But the arrests happened after cabinet has resigned, cancelling the no-confidence motion,” he explained.
“I think there is a political strategy behind all this – it is to direct attention away from GMR-Malaysia Airport Holdings [signing to manage] Male’ International Airport, an issue of serious national concern,” Nasheed suggested.
“I have also heard from a highly reliable source that the president has been considering a cabinet reshuffle and will use this opportunity to appoint new ministers, and remove non-MDP cabinet ministers in the new arrangement. That, and threats and intimidation.”
Nasheed said he hoped parliament would be able to resume next week when the matter of Gasim and Yameen’s detention had been resolved.
“Much will depend on whether the court rules for the detention [of Gasim and Yameen] be extended,” he said.
“I think this is a serious impasse caused by an overly dramatic and excessive reaction from the cabinet,” Nasheed said.
“It is a very sad development. If Nasheed felt so strongly about the Financial Bill, he could have returned it to parliament and his party could have prevented it from being passed. The President has the power to veto bills, and parliament could have tried to override his veto.
If that had happened, the President could have challenged it in a court of law. For cabinet to resign saying the bill is unconstitutional is unreasonable.
While Gasim and Yameen were taken before the criminal court last night, the MDP Council resolved to to terminate its coalition agreement with Gasim’s Jumhooree Party.
The MDP Council claimed that “Gasim Ibrahim, without cooperating with the government, has prioritised his personal agenda over national agenda and has collaborated with the opposition, and has appeared in the media [with the intention] of objecting to the implementation of the national agenda,” according to newspaper Miadhu.
Sporadic and small-scale protests against the detention of Gasim and Yameen broke out last night across the city, but rain, roadblocks and the World Cup kept the crowds thinned.
This morning police dispersed a group of protesters who had gathered in a secure zone outside parliament, clutching hastily-written signs with slogans such as ‘Save us from the robbers’.
This afternoon there were reports of MDP-led protests against parliament near the tourist street of Chandanee Magu, the crowd including a number of former ministers as MPs Eva Abdulla and ‘Reeko’ Moosa. The opposition is reportedly planning a protest later this evening.
25 thoughts on “Parliament is corrupt, alleges government”
This is all about 7 August 2010. The date which says the Interim Period in the Constitution is over.
Gayoom didnt think he could be toppled. He thought he was infallible in the eyes of the Maldivian public.
None of the other candidates had the strength to garner any public support than President Nasheed.
So they ran for the elections, hoping to get the dirty work of pulling down Gayoom done by President Nasheed.
And the sooner that is done, they started to sing.
Although as the the common enemy for the old guard remains publicly as President Nasheed, we can clearly see the squabbling among themselves.
Today, we do not see the DRP. They are hiding behind doors. Not knowing what to do.
Ali Waheed is a baby who has suddenly jumped into the parliament from his mother's lap. In between he did some work on the website www.factmaldives.com.
Now they are Parliamentarians. Just because they have the money to buy one or two influential families in the islands.
The Judges and DRP Parliamentarians are in a pact. Together, they seem to attempt to blackmail the Executive. "If you do not let us 5 stand as supreme court judges, let's see how far you can go ..." seems to be their line.
What other explanation would you give when past midnight you have court rulings out to have two MPs alleged with large scale corruption brought to the court?
Come on man! we are not dumb around here.
The Chief Executive has said that the 3 standing judges will remain as the supreme council judges for their entire lives. They have appointed nearly 25 judges and we do not need that many people to keep paying from the public coffers when some of them even have alleged serious criminal records which are not taken to a court of law.
The DRP regard themselves as the rulers of the nation. They love to keep the public in the dark.
Kutti MP Mohamed Nasheed, formerly a presenter of TVM, who fell into the good books of Abdullah Hameed, the half brother of Gayoom has portrayed himself as the holy interpreter of the Constitution.
Man! let me tell you with the basic law training in Malaysia you do not make sense half the time in your pathetic blog. Ofcourse you can keep the Kulhudhuffushi women happy! They love your flirting around with them.
As for Gasim Ibrahim, he was all for it when he was Finance Minister, willing to sell the assets of the country not for 25 years! But for 99 years. That in 2007.
And Yamin. He is the most public "unfriendly" person with the permanent frown who believes that he should be the next president after Gayoom by birth right. But the man squeezed so much out of the public but was clever enough to keep the evidence destroyed.
I don't care what happens. But Yamin, Gasim, Hasan Saeed, Jameel, Kutti Nasheed, you have nothing to give to this nation.
Kutti Nasheed, the so called independent MP speaks again. He who is paranoid about India, and loves to float all kinds of theories. Kutti Nasheed unfortunately appears very racist towards Indians, and its such a pity that an educated man like him behaves like this.
"If the Financial Bill was ratified and parliament gained the authority to dictate aid and subsidies, “it will [jeopardise] all sorts of subsidies and aid the government provides to people, except for the elderly allowance,” Suood claimed."
But if this bill is not ratified, by law, the government is FREE to even sell Male' or the whole country.
We CANNOT agree to such stupidity!
"Jumhooree Party (JP) leader Gasim Ibrahim, also the MP of Maamigili, and leader of the People’s Alliance (PA) Abdulla Yaameen, the MP for Mulaku, were arrested last night."
I hope the government has the evidence against these people this time. Otherwise it just another futile attempt.
If there is evidence, they should be locked up!
There should be no pardoning, not even leniency in their punishments.
For some reason I am beginning to think that this is a drama the government is playing. But the danger is, this drama can backfire or can even derail and run a course that is beyond the government's control.
I think the whole cabinet should NEVER have resigned. I don't know whose bright idea was that! Now that they have resigned, things are looking more and more gloomy for the government.
Getting a new cabinet approved by the parliament or reinstating the old cabinet does not appear as if it can be a smooth job.
I hope the President uses this is an opportunity to appoint some smart people to the cabinet. We want educated and capable people who can deliver!
I have only one question.
Why did the whole cabinet resign?
No, I do not believe that they resigned due to the "scorch earth" tactics of the opposition parliamentarians.
Be real Kutti, how on earth can the government take the bill to the court? The courts are worse than the parliament. Their reaction is not an over reaction.
Ok parliament is corrupt. Husnu Suood definitely is not. He is the cleanest man in the whole history of clean men.
Shaya proved only one thing with the long comment. That is his/her utter ignorance and stupidity.
This should have happened a long time ago. Anni who by nature is a very patient person and does not like confrontations were giving in too much to the opposition, trying to please everyone. In a way it is a nice character to have, but as one comment I read earlier to another article on minivan, you cannot expect to be nice to people who have ruled with greed for 30 years and get a positive result in an year or two.
Corrupt leaders should have been behind bars in the first year of this government. We all know that some coalition parties were corrupt too. Yes the goal was to get rid of Maumoon. But right after that, all corrupt judges should have been put to prison too. They all are one way or the other responsible for allowing the torture that took place during those 30 years dictatorship. So what is there to be nice about?
The previous 2 years has gone to a waste because Maldivians are still not educated enough to elect an honest man. Instead they go by party lines or elect corrupt but rich or well known people. Is this what they learn from western and hindi movies? Even those movies has some moral values to it. It does not matter if someone from DRP who is honest is elected. But sadly the ones that are elected are the type which obeys the corrupt leaders in those parties. Maybe it is to safe their face within that party - God knows best.
It is time for Anni to crackdown on the judges as well. Dont let the opposition preach about freedom and human rights. If they do, simply remind them how interesting their methods of freedom and human rights was when they were in power.
Paliament MPs are taking advantage of the power they have. We have such a big problem with street crimes and when have they actually spend time to really give harsh punishments to criminals who carry around knives on the street? Instead they have wasted 2 years of the peoples life and time bickering on politics and planning to grab power against each other.
So only way to do justice is to put the obviously corrupt ones with a pretty good history of corruption all into prison. This is Maldives we are talking about, we all know who is corrupt to the bone, who is mid way corrupt and who is honest in character.
"Be real Kutti, how on earth can the government take the bill to the court? The courts are worse than the parliament. Their reaction is not an over reaction."
Kutti is not being unrealistic. Not this time at least.
Didn't the government send back the Local Council Elections Bill to the parliament?
Whether the courts are worse than the parliament or not, there is a certain way to do things. And things should be done the way they are supposed to be done.
I think the cabinet's resignation is totally unacceptable, even if it is a drama played by the government.
It is not only an over reaction, but also a very immature reaction. You cannot ALL alienate your boss like that! This shows how little faith they have in the president.
Such an act is like boycotting the president's plan because it is the president who appointed them. It most certainly does not say very well of the president. In fact it brings a negative impression of him and his actions.
Now the president is left alone except for VP, whose he wants to play the sleeping partner. I hope he utilises VP's expertise this time and get this mess sorted out quickly before the national temperature rises to a boiling point.
It’s about time someone spoke about the alleged bribes given to Redwave Saleem, Alhan Faumy and Gafoor to change sides. MDP is doomed big time. Anni is showing is true colours now and everybody can see it for the first time. It is time for a change again. This time I vote for Yameen or Hassan Saeed.
It's a good decision by the cabinet to resign, because even if they stayed they would be thrown out by the parliament one by one.
Well done President Nasheed.We need to crackdown on corruption.Now the only thing remaining is for you to somehow take Alhan Fahmy to court too.It will win the confidence of many people for the government if this happens.Long Live Anni..
Anni on an ARREST frenzy?
Go on arresting till you are KING without a kingdom!
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men; Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it."
In 18 months, President Nasheed has established a full-fledged crony state. He must resign!
Suood has resigned from his post. what the hell is he doing in President's Office. Go home buddy! You are history; you will not be endorsed by the Majlis again
who ever who does not support these MDP idiots are corrupt..stop accusing n carry on with the pledges..dont waste our money playing stunts...not impressed at all.......
You become clean when u join MDP...
MR Prez..did u say 'loa laari eh nethas Qaum hingaanamey..does that mean u will sell off all our assets to feed us?????,,,we dont need a highly paid idiot like u to do that for us..
My vote is now for Yameen or Hassan, Anni has dumped my vote in to the gutter, I dont trust him anymore, I regret voting for him now.
politicians = clowns
Is it a must for all the MP's to say 'yes idiot' all the time for every bill???..hey mdp guys ,beggars cant be choosers..always keep in mind u guys are leading the minority...
YES I AGREE WITH Bokiba Kaju and Waleed...
hypocracy beyond words. Its not corruption when the govt/MDP bribes MP's for their gain. I find politics in this country hillarious..hehe
these are all political stunts, let them play and win
As a MDP member I am totally negative on our cabinet giving resignation. Philosophically it is Understandable however I believe people know the game and the desperate times we are going throgh. I really dont believe giving resgnatio will seek a way to peace.
We should concentrate on the people and nation and get off with egoism within the MDP members and start respecting the people of oppositions,Commissions and associations.
This is propagandize and a waste of time and money. My question is how is MDP going to come back. I truly believe the outcome is going to be rough. Let go off the political games and try to play try to see things as human species. I call all MDP members to think independently and not by Zaki, Maria and Afeefs. We are the future of MDP. I call for a Youth MDP branch.
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