Top court requested to halt case on ousting MPs for shifting parties

Attorney General Mohamed Anil speaks to reporters at press conference. PHOTO: MOHAMED SHARUHAAN/MIHAARU

Attorney General Mohamed Anil speaks to reporters at press conference. PHOTO: MOHAMED SHARUHAAN/MIHAARU

A local law firm filed at the Supreme Court on Wednesday to halt the constitutional case submitted by Attorney General Mohamed Anil which seeks to oust lawmakers from their parliament seats should they resign from their political parties or switch to another party.

Premier Chambers submitted the case in the wake of a recent exodus of ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM)’s lawmakers that left the ruling party to join the opposition. The lawmakers resigned from PPM after signing the joint opposition’s resolution to file a motion of no confidence against Parliament Speaker Abdulla Maseeh, soon after which AG Anil filed the constitutional case at the top court.

In the case filed by the law firm operated by prominent lawyers Shaaheen Hameed and Maumoon Hameed, they noted that the Constitution already specifies the conditions under which parliamentarians will lose their seats. They stated that AG Anil’s constitutional case, which was submitted as an ex parte motion without a defendant, is clearly a case of one Power of the executive to another. In this case, they declared that the addressee in this case is the Power of legislation, and that the case seeks to curtail the powers accorded to Legislation. Therefore, they declared that submitting the case without proper representation of Legislation was unlawful.

The law firm also noted that while AG Anil’s case is framed for the judiciary to make a decision on the powers and rights of one Power, the case was submitted such that the parliament, which represents that Power, loses its right to represent itself. Thus, Premier Chambers declared that AG Anil’s submission was done with a wrong motive.

Premier Chambers further highlighted that the Attorney General had previously acted in violation of two verdicts issued by the Supreme Court, which thus puts his authority into question. Therefore they requested the court to rule that his position as Attorney General is negated.

The Supreme Court is yet to respond to Premier Chambers’ submission.

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