Supreme Court strips Fuwad, Fayaz of EC membership

The Supreme Court has stripped Elections Commission (EC) President Fuwad Thowfeek and Vice President Ahmed Fayaz Hassan of their membership in the commission and sentenced the former to six months in jail.

The jail sentence was however suspended for three years.

The Supreme Court judgment also ordered the executive, parliament and the EC to “make all necessary arrangements” within six days to conduct the parliamentary elections as scheduled on March 22.

According to article 175 of the constitution, at least three members are required to “constitute a quorum at a meeting of the Elections Commission, and any decision of the Elections Commission shall be taken by a majority of votes of the members present and voting.”

With the Supreme Court’s removal of the EC’s president and his deputy, the remaining members are Ali Mohamed Manik and Mohamed Farooq.

Thowfeek was sentenced under article 88 of the penal code, which states that it is an offence to “disobey a lawful order”.

The Supreme Court summoned EC members on February 27 and began a surprise trial on charges of contempt of court under new ‘sumoto’ regulations that allow the apex court to initiate proceedings and act as both prosecution and judge.

Of the five judges on the bench hearing the case, Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz Hussain and Justice Adam Mohamed Abdulla issued dissenting opinions.

The majority opinion was formed by Justice Abdulla Saeed, Justice Ali Hameed Mohamed, and Justice Ahmed Abdulla Didi.

Delivering the verdict, Justice Saeed contended that EC members had “openly and systematically” brought the Supreme Court into disrepute, “deliberately challenged Supreme Court rulings” and “serially held [the court] in contempt” during press conferences.

The EC’s announcement for dissolving political parties without a minimum membership of 3,000 was in violation of the Supreme Court judgment that struck down articles in the Political Parties Act, the verdict stated.

Moreover, Fuwad Thowfeek’s public statements against the Supreme Court’s “procedures and jurisdictions” contravened the Judicature Act and constituted an act in violation of article 141 of the constitution – which states, “No officials performing public functions, or any other persons, shall interfere with and influence the functions of the courts.”

The court determined that the president and vice president must bear responsibility for “disobeying and challenging” Supreme Court judgments and orders, which were issued in its capacity as “the guardian of the constitution.”

Fuwad and Fayaz’s actions also contravened article 145(c) – which states, “The Supreme Court shall be the final authority on the interpretation of the Constitution, the law, or any other matter dealt with by a court of law.”

The court ruled that the pair had “lost the right and legal status to remain members of the commission” and declared the seats vacant.

“Practical difficulties”

While testimony given to a parliamentary committee was used to implicate commission members of contempt of court at the second hearing, at the last hearing of the ‘sumoto’ trial on March 5 the Supreme Court imposed a travel ban on EC members pending a judgment.

Following the Supreme Court’s summoning of EC members last month, former President Mohamed Nasheed declared that the MDP will boycott the parliamentary elections if the court removes EC members.

The Supreme Court’s actions have also been been criticised by civil society and the European Union.

Speaking to Minivan News tonight, Thowfeek said he was unsure how the parliamentary polls could take place as scheduled in less than two weeks.

He noted that the president would have to invite applications from interested candidates for the three vacant EC posts and forward nominees to parliament, after which a parliamentary committee would evaluate the nominees ahead of a vote on the Majlis floor.

“It’s very difficult for me to say anything because the Supreme Court reason given for our punishment is because of when I spoke about the impracticality of the 16 point guidelines,” he said.

“When I talk about the practical difficulties, they say nobody is supposed to talk about the practical difficulties.”

Today’s Supreme Court judgment meanwhile stated that Thowfeek had admitted to attempting to hold the second round of last year’s presidential election despite a Supreme Court stay order halting the electoral process.

Following the first round in which former President Mohamed Nasheed emerged the frontrunner with 45.45 percent of the vote, third-placed candidate Gasim Ibrahim sought annulment of the results alleging widespread electoral fraud.

Pending a ruling on the business magnate’s appeal, the Supreme Court indefinitely suspended the second round scheduled for September 28 and issued a supplementary midnight ruling ordering the police and military to forcibly prevent the EC from conducting the polls.

The EC had said it intended to comply with the constitutionally-mandated deadline for the run-off, but was forced to capitulate after it was surrounded by special operations police with orders to storm the building, arrest officials and confiscate ballot papers.

On October 7, the Supreme Court annulled the results of the first round of the polls conducted on September 7 in a controversial 4-3 decision – citing a confidential police report – despite unanimous positive assessment of the polling by more than a thousand domestic and international election observers.

The eventual revote on October 19 was also obstructed by police, after Progressive Party of Maldives candidate Abdulla Yameen and Gasim refused to sign the voter registry – a requirement from a 16-point guideline imposed on the EC by the Supreme Court judgment.

* A previous version of this article stated that all four members were sentenced to jail. The Supreme Court verdict later shared with the media however stated that only Fuwad Thowfeek was sentenced.

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19 thoughts on “Supreme Court strips Fuwad, Fayaz of EC membership”

  1. Lord Maumoon wills the EC disband, and it is done. Lord Maumoon shall reward His loyal subject Ali hameed with as many Russian prostitutes as he desires. For He is Lord, and He is Mighty. He is the King.

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  2. Off yr lazy asses and commit revolution good people of Moldovia

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  3. Welcome to the new improved Maldives. No wonder the president has no problem with the supreme court. If I were the MDP I would just resign and let the PPM and the supreme court do what they like, with no opposition. They will soon totally screw everything up and be removed from power as although you can fool all the people some of the time, and some people all of the time, you can't fool all the people all of the time.

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  4. Wondering when the country gets finally rid of these socalled "judges" ....

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  5. The claims that the Supreme Court is making are tall and great. There is no appeal to a higher court, and the Supreme Court are, in effect, the new rulers of Maldives.

    It is implicit in their behaviour that the Supreme Court judges are the most learned people in the country at least in matters of law.

    Implicit in this behaviour is also a challenge to the Parliament, the Constitution and the legal fraternity as well as the people of Maldives, the electorate.

    The challenge to the international community is also obvious, the UNO in particular.

    The OLD DICTATORSHIP is still in power and apparently legitimate. With the Judiciary, the Army and the Police behind them, their grip on power is very firm.

    The intelligentsia of Maldives are in full view even on Minivannews pages. Their quality and calibre is a matter for serious concern.

    Maldives has a long history, but the nation and people have refused to grow and mature, and keep up with the times and the rest of the world.

    The fate of the country is in the hands of the people, and specially its leaders.

    Are we marching forward or are marching backwards,or are we standing still?

    There is a small minority who are floursishing and enjoying themselves in the Maldives. The majority, however, does not even have freedom of speech.

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  6. Desperation kicks in finally and this is a grave mistake by SC at the orders of their backers, i.e. the regime in power.

    How can the people of Maldives accept an illegal ruling, and in particular a ruling which was signed by Ali Hameed? Two investigation committees of the JSC has recommended suspension of this man and both have been ignored!

    The SC has finally violated the Constitution of the country they were asked to protect and uphold. There is no law and order anymore. How can there be when the highest court in the land has no regard whatsoever for the Constitution?

    The biggest opposition party has a clear choice now. Taking part in Majlis elections under the circumstances will be a grave mistake. Don't make the same mistake that you made during the Presidential elections. Don't give legitimacy to those who are clearly trying to snuff the principles of democracy that were introduced in 2008.

    Nothing short of an uprising will solve the current situation.

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  7. How can such a corrupt organisation exist, it is plain to see that all future elections will be fixed before they are held. It will be a great day for Maldivian democracy when Gayoom finally dies.

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  8. Mordis has had these before. Blatant disregard to human values and indescribably stupid public being the puppets of the rulers.

    Like the 'generous king' raping the girls and killing them. And the follow up Islamization by the unwanted pig from Morocco.

    Here is another milestone in the making, by the absolute rulers.

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  9. Maumoon will certainly die and join his maker and be answerable to Allah. Using a confirmed adulterer and a disgraced supreme court to further his personal agenda will certainly be questioned in the after life.

    MDP should not contest this election and should boycott any further election until Maumoon, Gasim and Yameen's hands are removed for good from the Supreme Court and the justice system of this country.

    If this is not challenged right now, then do not complain about what comes after. For as night follows day, the hard fought freedoms will disappear very quickly. As a lesson to us all, the only country in the world that "serves" justice like this is communist China!

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  10. MDP needs to boycott elections and let PPM/Gayoom continue to run the country into the ground. They can't blame the country's problems on 3 years of Nasheed forever. (but they'll try)

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  11. This guy should have been removed long time back. This guy had tried to bring Nasheed back to power by hook or crook.

    Nasheed threatened to blackmail this guy and that is why he could not be an independent though out lats few years.

    Nasheed dictatorial policies had ruin our country and he had used people like Shiuna to trade key figures and get them trap in sexual assault.

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  12. This is not Allah who protects these ignorant people. The people are protecting them either with fear of imaginary Frankenstein, believing that this was the will of so called God, no different than Hanuman, or Kaaliman. This is where the world of evil and good starts, the evil always starts from psychopath, and this Jungiyaa court is occupied with psychopaths and Islam is the best tool for psychopaths to use against ordinary people. The evils can do anything to survive, and these monkey brained jangiya court is simply doing what they can do to survive and crazy Maldivian are simply protecting them to protect Islam, a very evil that is destroying the life of these ordinary people. The reason why these morally and ethically deficient Jungiya court breaths, is nothing but for the sake of an ideology that is simply a virus that destroys the minds of poor ignorant people. It is obvious now you have the division in the Maldives between evil and good. Qayoom is an evil man like all the evils in the history, they corrupt the minds of innocent ordinary people by instilling fear of some kind. Today this maniac cannot use his brutality to torture people, so like all evil people when they are powerless, this maniac is using scare tactics of some imaginary evil God and nationalism which is the best tool used by all evil people in the history. If this maniac is left to influence the Maldivian politics, the fear will haunt Maldivains and they can never overcome the fear, the fear that destroys the human species and makes them useless zombies.

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  13. Minivan pls refer to other newspapers. The verdict sentenced all SC members to jail. But later the info sent to media has verdict changed so it says only Fuad was sentenced to jail. So in actual fact supreme court is tempering with their own verdicts as and when they please!!!! If this was not true this would be just hilarious.

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  14. Salaam alaikum.

    I'd like to apologize for my little brother's behavior, but you see, he's so happy that his favorite porn star Ali Hameed will be safe that he's just shooting whatever dirty slash-fiction he writes as 'facts'.

    I've been trying to explain to him that there is a day when we'll all be judged for our words and deeds, but so far, I have had no success. He only believes in his drug dealers and paymasters. Please pray for my little brother, that he may somehow see the light again and no longer depend on heroin and worship of arab wannabes.

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  15. SC court has done the right thing, this guy Fuad needs to be removed as he was puppet of Nasheed, he has to brief everything day to day what happen to Nasheed, shows his independence, what a crook we had as commissioner of election.

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