The Elections Commission (EC) has reportedly found no legal grounds on which the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) can impose the three-line whip on MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik.
According to media sources the EC’s letter noted that Moosa took an oath to sincerely and truthfully carry out the responsibilities of a parliament member in accordance with the Maldivian Constitution.
EC officials referred Minivan News to Moosa for further details regarding the deliberation, but the Hulhuhenveiru MP was not responding to calls at the time of press.
The commission investigated the case after Reeko – also deputy Majlis speaker- had requested a review of the MDP disciplinary committee’s decision to dismiss him from the party – a decision later backed by the party’s appeals committee.
When asked whether the decision regarding the case submitted by Moosa would oblige the MDP to take any particular action or reverse the party’s decision, the EC today stated that the commission cannot order any party to a particular course of action.
Moosa has previously refused to pursue the case in the courts, and said he would he not be joining another party. CNM has today quoted Moosa as saying: “I do not wish to leave the MDP, I will even participate in the party’s activities”.
According to the decision by the MDP’s disciplinary committee, if Moosa wishes to rejoin the party he is required to issue a public apology and obtain 50 new members for the party, but will be barred from standing for any leadership position or contesting in party primaries for five years.
Although Moosa has described the disciplinary committee’s decision as “discriminatory”, the appeals committee found no evidence that any other MPs had defied the party whip more than once, claiming that Moosa had done so on five occasions.
The appeal committee’s report noted that Moosa had violated the parliamentary group’s three-line whip on four other votes in December, listing them as: voting to consider and then to accept amendments to the Judicature Act, voting to pass the 2015 state budget, and voting to amend the Import Export Act.
Moosa was dismissed on December 22 after the party’s national council asked the disciplinary committee to take stern action against those who violated the three-line whip in the crucial vote to remove Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz and Justice Muthasim Adnan on December 14.
The Majlis decision to remove the Supreme Court judges has been deemed unconstitutional by multiple local and international groups including the Maldives’ own Civil Court.
Responding to the appeals committee, Moosa said that the decision to expel him and to bar him from contesting in the MDP’s internal elections is in contradiction of articles 26 (b), 90 (a) and 109 (a) of the Constitution.
Article 90 grants immunity for actions carried out in the People’s Majlis, Article 26 defines the rights to vote and contest in elections, and Article 109 defines the requirements of an individual intending to run for the presidency.
Moosa has expressed his belief that the real reason for his dismissal from the party was his announcement that he intented to contest the MDP’s presidential primaries in 2018.
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