Democrats against MDP’s bill to reform JSC citing judiciary has been “highly” politicized

MDP's PG leader, North Hithadhoo MP Mohamed Aslam alongside The Democrats' chairman, West Henveiru MP Hassan Latheef and member, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament Eva Abdulla. (Photo/People's Majilis)

Democrats, siding against the amendment submitted by the government to change the composition of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), has claimed the judiciary has become “highly” politicized.

Members of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and The Democrats, during the debate on bill to amend the composition of JSC presented by parliament’s majority leader, North Hithadhoo MP Mohamed Aslam at the tenth sitting of the third session held Wednesday morning, went into a quarrel.

In this regard, Maradhoo MP Ibrahim Shareef, who is a member of MDP, cited Nasheed’s membership in JSC as the main reason why JSC has been politicized. Stressing the bill had been submitted to the parliament on June 19th, he expressed concern over the lack of progress in the works on the bill to date.

Shareef, referring to the opposition parties’ allegations against the government of influencing the judiciary, said it has been used as a tactic to mislead the public.

Following Shareef’s remarks, members of Democrats, enraged, highly criticized the statement.

North Maafannu MP Imthiyaz Fahumy (Inthi), describing the bill proposing amendments to JSC’s composition as one that still includes political figures, emphasized the bill cannot be passed.

Central Maafannu MP Ibrahim Rasheed (Bonde) claimed the bill was submitted because Nasheed was a member of JSC, as per the current composition, therefore, with the intention of removing him from the commission.

Hulhumale’ MP Ali Niyaz, a member of MDP, said the purpose of the government-proposed bill was to decrease the political influence on JSC.

Democrats’ Chairperson, West Henveiru MP Hassan Latheef said the composition of the JSC proposed in the bill in question was contradictory to MDP’s pledge.

The bill is designed to limit the members of JSC to seven, and exclude the president’s representative, the speaker of Parliament, and the president of the Civil Service Commission from JSC.

Changing the composition of JSC is an electoral pledge of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. Opposition parties have highly criticized the government for its failure to initiate these efforts sooner.

The JSC is currently composed of a representative of the general public, a representative of the Parliament, the president of the Civil Service Commission, the Attorney General, an attorney appointed by the President, a judge from the lower courts, a judge from the High Court, and a justice from the Supreme Court.