Supreme Court rejects motion to remove Nasheed from parliament

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (L), former President and Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed (C) and Supreme Court Justice Aisha Shujune Muhammad (R) seen during the opening of the Judicial Year 2022. | Photo: President’s Office

Malé, Maldives – Supreme Court has dismissed the petition filed against the Speaker of the Parliament and Machangoalhi Central Constituency Member Mohammed Nasheed seeking to declare him disqualified for the position.

The case was filed in the Supreme Court by lawyer Ahmed Tholib.

The constitutional case filed by Tholib said the Speaker’s representation of Sri Lanka at the COP-27 summit was contrary to the responsibilities and duties of a member of parliament as enshrined in the Constitution.

In the case, it stated that representing another sovereign authority while being under the tax payers payroll was in violation of the oath of allegiance taken and that it is in conflict with the interests of the State and that the act was contrary to Article 75 of the Constitution.

Article 75 of the Constitution states that members of Parliament shall act in the national interest and the welfare of the people. No member shall use his position to promote the personal interest of himself or any other person with whom he has a special relationship.

The Supreme Court Registrar decided today not to accept the case.

There will still be an opportunity to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

Tholib’s petition seeks a declaration that President Nasheed’s action is illegal and that he has lost his legal status as a member.

Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and former Attorney General Dr Mohamed Munawwar have also criticized Nasheed for representing Sri Lanka. 

Dr Munawwar said it was a shame that the head of the legislative branch of government went abroad to represent another country.

Nasheed is also a climate advisor to the country’s President, Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Local media reports have stated that the Speaker was not invited to take part in the Maldivian delegation to COP27 after which the former President and Speaker of Parliament decided to attend the COP27 with the Sri Lankan delegation. The Maldivian delegation is led by Vice President Faisal Naseem.

Parliament of Maldives had also released an announcement stating that President Nasheed left for Sham el-Sheikh, Egypt on Friday morning to attend the 27th “Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change” (COP 27) and that it is an official visit and he is attending the summit as a member of the Sri Lankan national delegation.

Speaker Nasheed has been a highly vocal climate advocate over the past years. He has also represented Maldives at all COP meetings held in the past 15 years and has participated in the discussions. President Nasheed is one of the most frequent attendee of the COP meetings to bring the world’s attention to Maldives vulnerability and the threat posed by climate change.