Faris Maumoon, the lawmaker son of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, was kicked off the parliament’s Petition Committee on Wednesday.
Mihaaru understands that the committee dismissed the lawmaker of Dhiggaru constituency on request of ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM)’s parliamentary group leader Ahmed Nihan. On Nihan’s recommendation, Faris has been replaced with Feydhoo MP Ibrahim Didi.
MP Faris is currently detained at Maafushi Prison under the custody of Maldives Correctional Service. He was arrested over allegedly bribing lawmakers to gather support for the motion of no confidence filed by the opposition against the parliament speaker.
While parliament regulations stipulate that lawmakers who are detained on suspicion of committing criminal offences must be presented to parliament sittings and committee meetings, Correctional Service did not escort MP Faris to the parliament session and Petition Committee meeting scheduled for last Monday.
The Petition Committee at the time had decided to hold off meetings unless MP Faris is presented. Member of main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and Henveiru North MP Abdulla Shahid had filed a request to present MP Faris to committee meetings, which was seconded by member of Jumhoory Party and Mathiveri MP Hussain Mohamed.
Hence the Petition Committee’s deputy chair and Henveiru South MP Mohamed Abdul Kareem, Galolhu South MP Ahmed Mahloof, and Henveiru North MP Abdulla Shahid had signed and forwarded a letter to the parliament’s Secretary General Ahmed Mohamed requesting to present Faris Maumoon to meetings.
MP Faris, who is one of the political leaders heading the opposition coalition, is currently undergoing a criminal trial for identity theft over misusing the logo and flag of PPM. Meanwhile, the investigation into his alleged bribery of lawmakers is still ongoing.