The Speaker of the Parliament nor the Parliament can decide if a Minister had violated the constitution, MP for Maradhoo, Addu City Ibrahim Shareef has said.
MP Shareef stated that the power was vested in the Supreme Court and not the Speaker of the Parliament after the Parliament had issued a statement that read that the Health Minister of Maldives had violated the constitution and parliamentary regulations after failing to respond to a parliamentary inquiry.
It was also revealed later on that the Minister had responded to the inquiry by emailing the answers to ten questions posed by an MP, 19 minutes after the Parliament issued the statement. The questions posed were surrounding the import of ventilators into the Maldives to treat COVID-19 patients and were proposed by South Mahchangoalhi MP Ahmed Haitham.
Speaking with Sun, MP Shareef stated that the parliament could only invoke a case of no confidence against the Minister in such a case and not declare that the Minister had violated the constitution.
“The power to declare that anyone, whether a common citizen or a Minister, is in violation of the Constitution is vested upon the Supreme Court. It is not up to the Parliament, nor the Speaker of the Parliament.” Said MP Shareef.
He noted that he had still not received the answers from some Ministers for questions posed last year and that opposition MPs had also requested to question Ministers.
“In a government that is ours, with a President that is from our party, I do not know what the issue is. I keep seeing different lines of action in different situations.” Said MP Shareef who is a member of the governing MDP.
MP Shareef stated that he understood delays may be faced in responding to such inquiries at a time when the Minister and the whole government was involved and committed to stopping the spread of COVID-19 in the Maldives.