‘Top court has no jurisdiction to impeach president’

Minister of Legal Affairs of the President's Office, Azima Shakoor (L), pictured at a cabinet meeting with President Abdulla Yameen (R). PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/MIHAARU

Minister of Legal Affairs of the President’s Office, Azima Shakoor (L), pictured at a cabinet meeting with President Abdulla Yameen (R). PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/MIHAARU

Minister of Legal Affairs at the President’s Office, Azima Shakoor, has stated that the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction to hear the case on impeaching the president.

Her statement comes after the oppositions’ move, filing a case at the Supreme Court to impeach President Abdulla Yameen alleging corruption and embezzlement.

Responding to a question on a Public Service Media program, the minister stated that Article 100 of the Constitution clearly outlines the conditions under which the president can be impeached.

The article stipulates that the parliament can remove the president from office by passing a resolution with two-thirds majority of total membership of the parliament if the president has violated the specific grounds stated in the article.

Referring to this article, Azima proclaimed that impeaching the president does not fall in the jurisdiction of the apex court at this stage. She also said that in such an event, the Supreme Court will only have the authority to rule whether the resolution passed is constitutional or not.

“The point is, before the parliament decides on this, at this stage the Supreme Court cannot pass a judgment on this matter. I see this as a tactic to create discord and apprehension.”

Highlighting that a private citizen cannot file a criminal charge, Azima criticized the opposition for being ignorant of this fact while they filed the case alleging corruption and embezzlement against the president at the top court.

Former presidents Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Mohamed Nasheed along with Jumhoory Party leader Qasim Ibrahim and Adhaalath Party’s deputy leader Ali Zahir had filed the impeach motion on Sunday.

In a tweet, Nasheed stated they are currently working on amending the motion. However, there has been no word from any lawyers working on the case while no additional information has been provided regarding the required amendments.

According to the regulations of the Supreme Court, a panel of judges will decide to accept cases after making sure all the required legal documents are submitted.

The opposition filed the motion seeking a verdict,which rules that Yameen had violated Subject 100 of the Maldivian Constitution. The motion accused Yameen of being involved in multiple corruptions and urged the Supreme Court to impeach him and hand over the presidency to Vice President Abdulla Jihad.

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