Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) parliamentary group leader and MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik has claimed that the Supreme Court has no authority to dismiss ministers from their positions.
“MPs have the power to dismiss Supreme Court judges, and the Supreme Court will understand that the panel consists of judges we appointed,” Moosa said. ”Parliament does not know how to remove ministers from their position,” he claimed.
The matter saw parliament proceedings derailed for three weeks on points of order. Eventually the MDP boycotted the endorsement process during the vote last Monday, and seven ministers were ‘disapproved’.
The government meanwhile contends that the only way to remove a minister from their position is through a no-confidence motion.
However, the opposition believes that the procedure of cabinet appointments remains incomplete without the consent of parliament, and that ministers should not remain in office after the parliament disapproves them.
After disputes last week, the opposition filed the case in the Supreme Court.
Referring to the opposition’s refusal on Finance minister presenting the budget, Moosa said that if the opposition MPs obstructed Finance Minister Ali Hashim from entering the parliament ”he will enter the parliament with the citizens of the nation.”
Moosa also alleged that DRP MPs planned “to attack” Hashim if he entered the parliament to present the budget.
”If DRP committed any such actions, no ministers will remain silent. I – Moosa Manik – and MDP activists will go to their houses.”
However, DRP MP Dr Abdulla Mausoom said that Hashim was a ‘former’ minister and former ministers cannot present the state’s budget in parliament.
”A person becomes a minister only after the person successfully passes the three procedures: presidential appointment, parliamentary consent and taking the oath,” Mausoom said. ”[Moosa] Hecannot say that the courts have no authority – courts have full authority to make the best decision to resolve every issue.”
Mausoom said Moosa’s remarks reveals how much the government disregards the constitution and laws.
”This issue should have long been resolved if some people did not have these issues of stubbornness,” he said.
He also said that parliament speaks the citizen’s words and ”participation of citizens is required in sincere good governance.”