Highlighting that security authorities have received information that the Supreme Court may issue a ruling to impeach President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, the Maldives Attorney General Mohamed Anil has 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. (Colombo Gazette)