Saeed was voted in with 55 votes during an extraordinary session tonight. MDP staged a walkout. Dismissed Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz has said “Today will be written down as a black day in the constitutional history of the Maldives.”
UPDATED: Of the 75 MPs who were present and voting at today’s extraordinary sitting, 53 MPs voted in favor, while 21 MPs voted against the move. Several MPs were also attacked and threatened with death. The new Chief Justice will be appointed at a second extraordinary sitting tonight.
The anti-corruption NGO cited the removal of two Supreme Court judges, the reappointment of the auditor general, and the MDP’s call for the president to hand power to Gasim Ibrahim as undermining democratic principles.
The Maldivian Democratic Party has asked the Civil Court to halt the Majlis decision on the removal of two Supreme Court judges as experts and civil society groups join the chorus of voices questioning the legality of the JSC’s decision.
In a resolution passed last night, the Civil Court said the People’s Majlis had “forced” the JSC to deem Faiz and Adnan unfit for the Supreme Court bench without due process, through an “unconstitutional” amendment to the Judicature Act.
The opposition MDP has called for protests outside Majlis on Sunday and said it will challenge the move at the Supreme Court. However, there are signs MDP MPs may be divided on the vote with rumors of bribery surfacing.
The decision comes within hours of President Abdulla Yameen ratifying an amendment to reduce the seven-member Supreme Court bench to five judges. The JSC has decided to keep proceedings of today’s meeting confidential until Majlis holds a vote.
The government has stopped providing bottled water to residents of Malé, claiming there is currently no shortage of drinking water. Custom built panels from Singapore to replace the four damaged panels at MWSC have arrived today.
In a statement issued yesterday on the occasion of International Human Rights Day, the opposition leader accused senior government officials and elements of the police of complicity in abductions, murder, arson attacks, and gang violence.