Parliament has accepted a request from the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) to discuss the removal of opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Afrasheem Ali from the Judicial Services Commission (JSC).
The MDP sent a letter to the parliament in March requesting the removal of Afrasheem, claiming he had disregarded JSC procedure, and showed insincerity towards the responsibilities of the commission.
In the letter signed by MDP’s Parliamentary Group Leader and MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik, the party alleged that Dr Afrasheem had violated articles 10/2008 Section 20[a] and [b] of the JSC’s Act, which states that a meeting of the JSC can be held only if more than half the total number of members were present, and which requires a majority vote of present JSC members to make any decision.
Moosa referred to the incident where Dr Afrasheem allegedly phoned JSC member Fahmy Hassan – also head of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) – to ask whether he was fine with Dr Afrasheem speaking in the Supreme Court on behalf of the JSC. The matter concerned a trial conducted after a Criminal Court Judge filed a case against the JSC’s appointment of judges to the High Court.
”Records of the JSC show that Dr Afrasheem Ali made that decision against the JSC’s policies,” Moosa said in the letter.
The JSC had sent a letter to the Supreme Court, with the same date, saying that “a majority decision had been taken by members who participated in the meeting on February 6” to appoint MP Afraasheem as JSC’s representative to the higher courts. This was despite taped phone conversations indicating that he had called members separately.
Furthermore, Moosa said, “although Article 164 of the constitution very clearly states that persons appointed to the JSC who are nots member of parliament shall receive allowances and salary as decided by the parliament, records of the JSC shows that Dr Afrasheem Ali has been paid such allowances.”
Dr Afrasheem had played a role in the unlawful and unconstitutional activities the JSC had conducted, and he has been insincere in carrying out the responsibilities of the JSC, Moosa claimed.
”Therefore, [we] find Dr Afrasheem is not an appropriate person to represent the parliament in the JSC, and [we] hereby present this complaint according to article 165 of the constitution and request his dismissal,” Moosa said in the letter.
Dr Afrasheem did not respond to calls at time of press.