Male’, Maldives – The hearing with regards to the matter of settling the dispute of MP Yaugoob Abdullah’s parliamentary seat has been concluded by the Supreme Court of Maldives today.
During the hearing, both the plaintiff and the defendant were given the opportunity to answer the questions asked during the previous hearing, after which final comments were allowed with regards to the matter, for both parties.
The case which is heard by a bench of five Supreme Court Justices is being presided over by Justice Husnul Suood. The other Justices on the bench are Justice Aisha Shujune Ahmed, Justice Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim and Justice Ali Rasheed Hussain.
The case was filed against MP Yaugoob, of Dhaandhoo constituency to declare that his seat has been lost, by former judge of the Criminal Court of Maldives, Mohamed Haleem and one of the lawyers in the legal team representing the opposition PPM/PNC coalition.
Questions over the legitimacy of Yaugoob’s parliamentary seat arose after his appointment to the council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Maldives (ICAM), created under the recently enacted Chartered Accountants Act. With legal experts questioning his appointment, Yagoob resigned the next day.
However Haleem announced that he will be filing the petition with the Supreme Court, saying that “Parliamentarians cannot retain their position as parliamentarians after they lose their seat, like marriage reconcilliations after divorce.”
As per Article 73 (d) of the constitution, parliamentarians are prohibited from serving as members of an independent commission or in any independent position.
However, Yauqoob is reported to have told “Sun” that he does not believe his appointment to ICAM, which is an independent and autonomous legal body mandated with the regulation of the accounting profession in the Maldives, poses any legal issues, but found recusing himself to be the best course of action under the circumstances.
“I don’t find any reason why I wouldn’t be allowed to serve in that position. I received counsel which went both ways from a lot of lawyers. But given the difference of opinion, I decided that it would be unwise to continue,” said Yaugoob.