Maldives: President Muizzu Rushes to Supreme Court to Thwart Impeachment

Maldives Attorney General Appeals to Supreme Court to Block Impeachment Amidst Political Turmoil

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President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu [Photo: Mihaaru]

In a strategic move to safeguard President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu from potential impeachment, the Maldivian Attorney General’s Office has filed a case with the Supreme Court challenging the recent amendment to Parliament’s standing orders. This amendment, introduced by the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), has lowered the threshold required to impeach the president.

The controversy stems from the resignation of seven lawmakers in November, who subsequently assumed key positions in President Muizzu’s administration. The Elections Commission, however, opted against conducting by-elections, citing the proximity of the parliamentary elections scheduled for later this year.

Seizing the opportunity, the MDP amended the standing orders, ensuring that vacated seats wouldn’t be factored in when determining the total number of MPs. Consequently, the impeachment threshold dropped from 58 to 54 votes, given the current total of 80 MPs instead of the original 87.

Last week, an alliance between MDP and the opposition Democratic Party was announced, with the shared goal of holding the government accountable in Parliament. Together, they command 56 MPs – 43 from MDP and 13 from the Democrats, providing them the numerical strength to potentially impeach President Muizzu.

Attorney General Ahmed Usham confirmed that his office submitted the case to the Supreme Court on Sunday, though as of Tuesday afternoon, the court had yet to register the case. On Monday, an MDP lawmaker disclosed that the party had gathered sufficient signatures for an impeachment motion but had not submitted it at the time.

Adding another layer of complexity, Parliament on Monday rejected approval for three members of President Muizzu’s cabinet: Ahmed Usham, Housing Minister Dr. Ali Haidar Ahmed, and Islamic Minister Dr. Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed. This decision followed the MDP passing a three-line red whip to reject the three ministers and Economic Minister Mohamed Saeed, with Saeed narrowly surviving the vote.

However, in a swift response, Usham, Haidar, and Shaheem were promptly reappointed to the cabinet within hours of the vote and subsequently took their oath before Justice Husnu Al Suood.

Sri Lanka Guardian

The Sri Lanka Guardian is an online web portal founded in August 2007 by a group of concerned Sri Lankan citizens including journalists, activists, academics and retired civil servants. We are independent and non-profit. Email: editor@slguardian.org

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