Supreme Court to hold first hearing on cabinet controversy

The first hearing of the case filed in the Supreme Court against the government regarding the cabinet endorsement controversy is scheduled to be held tomorrow at 10:30 pm.

The case was filed in the court by Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Ali Waheed and by Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP), according to the Supreme Court.

The parties filed a case seeking a court order to declare that ministers who did not receive parliamentary consent should be removed from  their posts.

Former Attorney General and DRP Council Member Azima Shukoor will argue the opposition’s case in court. The present Attorney General’s office will act as the defendant in the case.

Following weeks of political stalemate, parliament voted last week to approve five out of 12 cabinet ministers reappointed by President Mohamed Nasheed in July.

After MPs of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) boycotted the sitting before voting began, the remaining MPs voted against the nominees Finance Minister Ali Hashim, Education Minister Dr Musthafa Luthfy, Foreign Minister Dr Ahmed Shaheed, Fisheries Minister Dr Ibrahim Didi, Home Minister Mohamed Shihab, Defence Minister Ameen Faisal and Attorney General Dr Ahmed Ali Sawad.

The government however insists that as none of the ministerial appointees received 39 votes against – the majority required to pass a no-confidence motion – all cabinet members shall remain in their posts.

Recently MDP Parliamentary Group leader and MP Moosa Manik has said that the Supreme Court have no authority to remove ministers from their position and said ”I can assure that the court will not even issue such an order.”