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Top court to have final word on impeaching pres, vice pres

Aishath Mihna Nasih
23 May 2017, MVT 11:30
An aerial view of the Maldives Supreme Court in the capital Male. MIHAARU FILE PHOTO
Aishath Mihna Nasih
23 May 2017, MVT 11:30

The Supreme Court of the Maldives has ruled that the final decision on an impeachment of the President, Vice President, Judges, Cabinet Ministers and members of independent institutions taken by the parliament will be made by the top court itself.

The verdict was issued for the motion submitted under Subject 101 of the Constitution, requesting that a reasonable cause must be required to submit a motion of no confidence against a Cabinet Minister and that a political motive shall not push the parliament to remove any of the ministers from their respective positions.

The verdict unanimously passed within the five-member full bench of the Supreme Court states that, regardless of an impeachment vote passed by the parliament for any of these positions, its validity shall remain in the highest court within the hierarchy of the Maldives' legal jurisdiction.

As per the effective immediate decision, the only exception is given to Judicial Service Commission (JSC). All other independent institutions including the Elections Commission, Human Rights Commission, Anti-Corruption Commission, Prosecutor General and Auditor General’s impeachment are also counted in the vicinity of the Supreme Court’s last verdict.

According to the Constitution, an impeachment of the President and Vice President can be passed if two thirds of the parliament vote in favor of the motion.

While issuing the verdict, Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed said that the decision was made to interpret the Constitution as per the elected and effective presidential system of the Maldives.

Noting that it is a feature of the Parliamentary System, the Supreme Court claimed that impeaching such posts without a reasonable cause is counts as a separate power infringing another power.

Hence, he reiterated that it is within the authority of the courts to clear any doubts raised while interpreting the Constitution.

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