Former presidents Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Mohamed Nasheed declared late Thursday their support for any lawmakers who may lose their parliament seats as a result of the Supreme Court’s verdict on parliamentarians who shift political parties.
In the wake of the top court’s ruling on Thursday that lawmakers that resign from their political party, are expelled from their political party, or sign into another political party will lose their seats in parliament, the former presidents stated in separate tweets that they will do everything in their power to return any lawmakers that are ousted back to their seats.
Nasheed told lawmakers not to worry about consequences they may have to face should they vote in favour of the opposition lobbied motion of no confidence against Parliament Speaker Abdulla Maseeh. He vowed that, should they be ousted, he will return them to their parliament seats with God’s will.
Maumoon made a similar vow, proclaiming that he will return the seat to any lawmaker that is ousted while working for the rights of the people.
In a previous tweet, he also said that the Supreme Court’s verdict marks “a black day for democracy in Maldives. No worries. People will always win. Dictatorships will always fail.”
The Supreme Court issued its verdict on the constitutional case submitted as an ex parte motion by Attorney General Mohamed Anil after ten lawmakers of ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) signed the joint opposition’s resolution to file a motion of no confidence against the parliament speaker. Following the case’s submission, the ten lawmakers soon resigned from PPM, though the ruling party has refused to process some of the resignations due to ongoing cases against the members.
The top court’s verdict applies only to lawmakers that resign or are expelled from a political party or shift to another party from this Thursday onwards. The ruling will not affect any of the lawmakers that have shifted political sides in the past.
The verdict mandates the Elections Commission to hold by-elections for constituencies represented by ousted lawmakers. The law states that by-elections of vacated parliament seats must be held within two months.