The Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) has slammed alleged attempts by the Jumhooree Party (JP) to deceive the public and bring the government into disrepute.
In a press release on Thursday (December 18), the ruling party condemned “completely unfounded and false” public remarks from the estranged coalition partner after JP Leader Gasim Ibrahim suggested the Maldives was facing international censure over the removal of Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz Hussain and Justice Muthasim Adnan from the Supreme Court bench.
International condemnation of the move was a “red light” for foreign investors, Gasim contended at a ceremony last week to mark the signing of Independent MP Muaz Mohamed Rasheed to the JP.
“We’re giving a bad signal. [We are] talking about comments made about the Maldives looking at the statements from America and the Commonwealth,” the business tycoon was quoted as saying in local media.
While the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) described the dismissal of the justices as “astonishingly arbitrary,” the Commonwealth Legal Education Association (CLEA) and the Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association (CMJA) in a statement on Tuesday called it unconstitutional and a clear breach of the Commonwealth Principles.
“The superficial legislative and administrative manoeuvres used to get rid of them [the judges] were grossly unfair and in flagrant violation of the Maldivian Constitution, UN and Commonwealth standards on independence of the judiciary, and the obligations of the Maldives under international law,” read the ICJ statement.
The pair were removed following the passage of government-sponsored amendments to the Judicature Act, which proposed reducing the number of judges on the apex court from seven to five.
Following ratification of the amendments by President Abdulla Yameen, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) promptly recommended the dismissal of Faiz and Adnan, which was approved by parliament last Sunday with 53 votes in favour and 21 against.
The PPM statement meanwhile argued that weakened international relations have been repaired through the efforts of the current administration.
A number of friendly nations offered assistance during the recent water supply crisis in the capital, the party noted, while the government has launched major development projects in collaboration with foreign partners in recent months.
Foreign investors were presently carrying out projects in the country while expressing interest in further projects, the statement added.
Meanwhile, speaking to the press last week, Gasim also denied making a deal with the PPM to allow a free whip for the JP’s 12 MPs to vote as they saw fit in the removal of the Supreme Court justices.
While five out of 12 JP MPs voted to dismiss the pair, Gasim himself voted against the move.
However, PPM Deputy Leader Ahmed Adeeb had thanked Gasim on social media for “letting JP MPs vote as agreed for free whip today.”
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