Opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) leader and former President Mohamed Nasheed has predicted that he will be jailed in the upcoming weeks.
Speaking at the party’s 129th National Council sitting last night (February 10) Nasheed stated that although he will be very saddened to leave his family and worldly pleasures, he is determined to patiently bear the pain and “if necessary, even torture”.
“Nevertheless, with your permission, I would like to spend my jail days as the president of this party”, Nasheed said, requesting that the party “try and free me as soon as possible” and to “try and find a way in which I could be saved without being sentenced”.
Nasheed’s challenge of the composition of the Hulhumalé Magistrates Court bench was rejected on jurisdictional grounds on Monday (February 9), paving the way for the court to resume his trial for the January 2012 detention of Criminal Court Judge Abdulla Mohamed.
Nasheed has described judicial proceedings as being influenced by the government, making them “unfair”, alleging that the government’s intention was to sentence him before the new Penal Code is implemented in April, 2015.
Nasheed’s legal team has subsequently submitted the case to the Civil Court, again challenging the composition of the Hulhumalé court bench. The first hearing of the case is scheduled at Civil Court today at 4pm.
In last night’s meeting held to discuss the steps that need to be taken by the MDP in defending the Constitution, Nasheed also said that more than 10 parliament members from the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) are discussing switching to the opposition alliance.
The MDP and Gasim Ibrahim’s Jumhooree Party (JP) signed an agreement during a mass rally last Thursday (February 5) night to “defend the spirit of the Constitution and do everything necessary to guarantee the rule of law”.
The agreement pledges to prevent the passing of any propositions in the People’s Majlis against the letter or the spirit of the Constitution, both inside and outside of the Majlis. Currently, the two parties control 34 seats in the 85-seat legislature.
The MDP National Council also decided last night to pass a motion submitted by Villimalé constituency president Mohamed Ibrahim Manik to lift the disciplinary measures preventing MPs who had violated the party’s whip line from participating in votes taken in the party’s internal bodies.
It was also decided that Anas Abdul Sattar be appointed as the party’s secretary general.
Nasheed stated that the joint parliamentary group to be formed under the MDP-JP agreement will strive towards appointing Maamigili MP Gasim to post of speaker of parliament.
Gasim’s decision to stand for the position last May prompted the end of his party’s alliance with the PPM, though the JP did not officially sever ties until late last month.
Nasheed also assured that, if and when the alliance gains the majority, the current composition of independent institutions, such as the Judicial Services Commission, will be changed.
“I will be even more active from block C of Maafushi Jail,” concluded Nasheed.
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