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MDP maintains no need for change of member count method with regard to Supreme Court verdict

Mariyath Mohamed
29 February 2024, MVT 17:41
A press conference held by MDP parliamentarians.
Mariyath Mohamed
29 February 2024, MVT 17:41

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) maintains that the Supreme Court's ruling today that the amendment brought by Parliament to its regulations regarding the manner of counting the total number of parliamentarians contravene the Constitution does not necessitate any changes to be brought to the methods in which Parliament work is being conducted currently.

In a press conference held today, the party's Parliamentary Campaign Spokesperson Kendhikulhudhoo MP Ahmed Easa said that today's Supreme Court ruling does not mention that the latter amendment to the regulations is one that cannot be brought.

The total number of parliamentarians is counted as 80 now in accordance with the later amendment to the parliament regulations.

"The Supreme Court ruled today on the amendment that was brought to the Regulations before the case was submitted. However, I interpret the ruling as allowing us to proceed with the amendment brought to the Regulations later on," Easa said.

"So I do not see any issues, any obstacles to proceeding with the work scheduled in parliament."

Easa further asserted that the President has no jurisdiction to decide on the legality of parliament actions, adding that such powers only rested with the Supreme Court.

"It is no longer up to the President to make a decision on what was decided by the Parliament yesterday. The parliament has voted and made the decision through a right constitutionally granted to the institution. So it is not for the President to decide on whether or not to ratify it anymore," Easa said.

As per Article 91(b) of the Constitution, any Bill returned to the People’s Majlis for reconsideration without ratification shall be ratified by the President and published in the Gazette if the Bill, after reconsideration, is passed without any amendments, by a majority of the total membership of the parliament.

Today's Supreme Court ruling stated that the Parliament's amendments to regulations changing method of counting quorum is unconstitutional, but that no action can be taken as the parliament has since revoked said articles.

President Dr Mohamed Muizzu alleged that even though the Supreme Court has ruled today that counting the total parliamentarian number as 80 is in contravention of the Constitution, the parliament had applied this total member count when voting to pass the amendments to the General Elections Act postponing the upcoming parliamentary elections.

Subsequently, he has appealed for legal advice from the Attorney General before deciding on how to proceed on the matter. The President assured that any course of action adopted would be entirely in line with the Constitution and laws.