Supreme Court OKs Democrats’ motion to intervene in MDP case

Members of the leadership of the Democrats. (Photo/Democrats)

The Supreme Court has accepted the motion submitted by the Democrats to intervene in the case filed by the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) over the stymied no-confidence motion against Speaker Mohamed Nasheed.

The Democrats had initially sought to have individual lawmakers from the party to intervene in the case. However, the Supreme Court established that it cannot accept motions from individuals.

During a council meeting Sunday evening, the party decided to file a motion for intervention on behalf of the entire party.

The motion was proposed by Democrats’ parliamentary group leader Ali Azim, who said the party had a vested right in the case, and that the Supreme Court’s judgement will affect the party.

The person who will advocate on behalf of the party will be decided by Democrats’ interim chairperson Hassan Latheef.

The Supreme Court is set to hear the case from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm on Monday.

The opposition coalition, composed of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and People’s National Congress (PNC), which recently won the presidential election, have also filed a motion to intervene in the case.

MDP filed a no-confidence motion against Nasheed – the party’s former leader with the endorsement of 49 lawmakers in October. Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla, Nasheed’s cousin and fellow Democrats member, has been on sick leave last week – thwarting the motion.

The Parliament’s standing orders dictate that sittings must be chaired by the Deputy Speaker in the event of a no-confidence motion against the Speaker. However, it does not provide explicit instructions on what to do if both the Speaker and Deputy Speaker are indisposed of.

MDP believes that the sitting to hear the motion can be chaired in accordance with the standard practice for general sittings.

The party filed a petition with the Supreme Court last week, seeking its guidance to process the motion.

Eva has decided to recuse herself from chairing sittings until the court makes a decision in the case. And the Parliament has announced that the motion cannot be heard without her there to chair the sitting – creating an impasse.