Was removed from office without being allowed a proper defense: Dr Jameel

Ex-VP Dr Jameel during the 2013 presidential campaign in the front while his successor Ex-VP Adheeb is seen at the back. Photo: PPM Social Media

Malé, Maldives – Former Vice President of Maldives Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed has said that he was deposed from office following a no confidence vote, without being allowed a proper defense, which is a right under the Constitution of the Maldives.

During the presidency of Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, Dr Jameel was his first Vice President of the Maldives serving for two years since 2013, until the parliament voted to dismiss him from his position, following a no confidence vote.

This was following accusations against Dr Jameel saying that he was conspiring with opposition parties and had worked behind the scenes organizing the massive riots against the then administration in May 2015.

Dr Jameel filed a case at the Supreme Court saying that when the previous Parliament members had dismissed him from his position, they had violated the constitution in doing so. Although the Supreme Court declared in 2017 that the court would be making the final decision on cases regarding no confidence votes, the state said that it believes the previous verdict of the court was unlawful.

Speaking at today’s hearing regarding the case, Dr Jameel said that everyone must have access to the legal defense allowed by the constitution and that during the investigation of any case, even if it is an impeachment, all the procedural aspects must be fulfilled while noting that he was deprived of that right.

Dr Jameel added that while presidents and vice presidents are allowed a defense during impeachment, he was not allowed a lawyer during his case of no confidence and that this was a misstep against the constitution.

He noted that whether its the parliament or any other institution, such cases should take place according to the law. He then expressed his distress over how things went at the parliament sitting in which his lawyer was not allowed during the case of no confidence.

Different conversations took place at the parliament that day. No-one could explain why the no confidence case was raised against the Vice President. It was also decided that a lawyer would be allowed only with the VP. It’s clear that the intention was not to allow the chance of a defense.

Former VP Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed

Dr Jameel also added that there were no accusations from the Parliament nor was there an investigation regarding the case of no confidence which was taken against him. He then accused the parliament of changing their regulations as to depose the Vice President while saying that the procedural aspects of the constitution cannot be ignored and that due process must be followed.

Dr Jameel also stressed on the point that the role if the VP is to complete the tasks assigned by the President and that the President had sent no such letter saying that the VP was incapable for the post. He also noted that while the President had not sent such a letter stating his ineligibility, other parties do not have the right to regard him as incapable.

Dr Jameel also said that the parliament deprived him of the legal defense to such an extent that has not been seen in Maldivian history before. Finishing of the hearing, Chief Justice stated that both the parties would be allowed to speak at the next hearing as to conclude the trials.

Dr Jameel’s impeachment was passed from parliament with 78 votes against him and only two members voting for him. The two members who voted for him are the current Minister of Youth Ahmed Mahloof and MP Ali Hussain.

This was the first time a Vice President of Maldives was removed from office through a no-confidence vote until that day. The impeachment was orchestrated by the then powerful Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb who succeeded the position later on.

The former Vice President Dr. Jameel is also a part of the current opposition. Before he jumped ship, he played a key role of bringing the current administration to power. He rejoined PPM in August of this year as an advisor after resigning from Jumhooree Party saying that he lacks the opportunity to carry out his vision for the country.