Government officials pay cut case scheduled at Supreme Court

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Speaker of Parliament, Former President Mohamed Nasheed speaking | Photo: Avas Online

Male’, Maldives – Salary reduction case of senior level staffs of the state including the president, vice president, parliament members, members of independent agencies and court judges of Maldives by the parliament as a measure to reduce the governments costs amid the Covid-19 pandemic has been scheduled at Supreme Court of the Maldives.

The case filed to the court by the former Civil Court judge Mohamed Haleem states that the decision by the parliament is void in nature as the salaries of these positions were declared by laws of the constitution. Legal experts have been highlighting that this can only be done after the related laws are amended and that it cannot be done based on a report made by a committee of the parliament.

However the motion to lower the salary of  the president, vice president, parliament members, members of independent agencies and court judges of Maldives was passed by the parliament on May 20, 2020 for a period of three months.

Article 118 of the constitution states that the President’s salary and remunerations, as well as the salary and remunerations of the Vice President. It was passed in 2009 stating that the salary of the President is MVR 100,000 while the Vice President’s salary is MVR 75,000 in total with their salaries, allowances and amenities. The motion to lower the salary of the president down to MVR 65,000 and the Vice Presidents to MVR 48,000 was done without amending this Act.

When questioned about the legality of this decision by legal experts in the Maldives, the chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Member of Kinbidhoo constituency Mohamed Nashiz said that there wasn’t any legal issue in the matter and that power to change the salaries of state officials have been vested in the parliament.

After the motion was passed by the parliament, former Civil Court judge Mohamed Haleem filed the case at Supreme Court on June 1, 2020 and the case was accepted to the court on June 10, 2020. The case is scheduled to start on October 15, 2020 at 11:00am.