February 04, 2018

Highlighting that security authorities have received information that, sometime today, the Supreme Court may issue a ruling to impeach the President, the Attorney General advised all law enforcement agencies not to comply with any order that is in conflict with the Constitution of the Maldives, as the Supreme Court does not have any legal or constitutional authority to initiate the removal of a President from Office.

Meeting the media earlier today, the Attorney General underscored that under Article 8 of the Constitution, all State affairs must be carried out in accordance with the Constitution of the Maldives. He emphasised that Article 8 does not in any way exempt any institution or branch of power, and that all institutions and powers of the State must function in accordance with the Constitution. Hence, no institution of the State may exercise a power outside the Constitutional guidelines, the Attorney General said.

Speaking at the press briefing, the Attorney General also highlighted that Article 100 of the Maldives’ Constitution very clearly states the terms under which a President may be removed from Office – a President may be removed by a resolution passed by the People’s Majlis and as such the Attorney General noted that there is no role of the courts [Supreme Court] in this process.

Additionally, the Attorney General underlined that Article 113 of the Constitution also states the same – the Supreme Court, sitting together in session, shall have sole and final jurisdiction to determine all disputes concerning the qualification or disqualification, election, status, of a presidential candidate or running mate or removal of a President by the People’s Majlis. With regard to these two articles of the Constitution, the Supreme Court does not have any legal authority to initiate the removal of a President from office, said the Attorney General.

The Attorney General noted that implementing the Supreme Court’s order of 1 February, would mean different conditions for each individual prosecuted together, for the same case. He also informed that the Administration and security services have received information of plans to create unrest across the country – further calling for support and cooperation of the community towards the security agencies in order to maintain peace and ensure safety of its people.

The Attorney General further reiterated that consultations were underway with the Supreme Court in order to implement the court’s ruling of 1 February, within proper rules and procedure, and that the Chief Justice has advised the Administration to follow due process. He also said that the Prosecutor General’s Office has apprised the Supreme Court of the numerous legal challenges in the implementation of the ruling.

ENDS

Source: President’s Office

February 01, 2018

The Government of Maldives takes note of the statement issued by the EU Heads of Missions resident in Colombo on 30 January 2018.

Rule of law and the guaranteeing of human rights and fundamental freedoms are central for a modern democratic society. The Constitution of the Maldives enacted in 2008 safeguards the rights of the people and guarantees separation of powers, while also recognizing the complimentary role of each body, for the proper functioning of the State.

The Government of Maldives is resolute in its commitment to ensure fully that the rule of law is upheld and applied fairly and equally to all without any exceptions. The arrest of Hon. Ahmed Faris Maumoon, MP, was pursuant to a Criminal Court arrest warrant issued in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Code of the country. The Government notes the allegation that Mr. Maumoon was held in detention for nearly six months without any trial date is factually incorrect, and in fact, that Mr. Maumoon’s trial process had commenced in the said duration and was lengthened due to the various pre-trial motions raised by his team of lawyers, on which the Criminal Court had made its decision on 31 January 2018.

The charges against Mr. Maumoon are serious charges not only in the Maldives, but in other countries as well. The Government has and will continue to ensure that due process will be followed and guarantee his right to a free and fair legal process. At the same time, the Government also hopes that its partners respect the domestic processes and recognize the gravity of the charge of which Mr. Maumoon is accused of.

Since the enactment of the 2008 Constitution, the Maldives has held several parliamentary and local elections including two presidential elections, all of which were declared free, fair and credible by the international community, even as recently as in 2017. Therefore, there is no justifiable reason to believe that the presidential elections scheduled for later this year can be any different. The Government, along with the respective authorities, including its international partners, especially with the European Union, are working tirelessly towards this end. In this regard, the Government looks forward to pursuing constructive engagements with its partners, based on mutual respect and understanding.

ENDS