The Democrats: Supreme Court cannot amend the Parliament's regulations

The Democrats' lawyer, Abdulla Shairu, speaking at the hearing in the Supreme Court.

The Democrats state Supreme Court has no jurisdiction to amend the parliament's regulations with respect to the current debate over who is to chair the no-confidence motion against the Speaker of Parliament, and in other circumstances. 

The Supreme Court is currently hearing a petition filed by MDP seeking to establish the parliament cannot proceed with any other of its works while the no-confidence motion against Speaker Mohamed Nasheed is pending. 

Democrats have also intervened in this case.

Speaking on behalf of the Democrats, lawyer Abdulla Shaairu said the impeachment case was a special case, as it involved the head of one of the three powers of the state. 

According to Article 205 (e) of the parliament's regulation, the Deputy Speaker shall preside over the session where the motion for impeachment is on the agenda.

Shaairu said that the rules state the deputy speaker must preside over the sitting as it is the best practice for the next person to assume the post to preside over the sitting when the no-confidence vote is taken against Speaker. 

Justice Husnu Al Suood then questioned why the parliament's did not specify a specific person to preside over the impeachment of the country’s president or chief justice.

In response, Shaairu said the Parliament is a separate power. There is no set way to proceed in the rules to act in such circumstances, he said, adding that there would be no conflict of interest in the removal of the President or Chief Justice of the country no matter who presides over the case.

"I believe the rule is that it is special. The Speaker of Parliament is the administrative head of Parliament and the highest authority of Parliament. Not the other person [Deptuty Speaker]. The Deputy Speaker was entrusted with the responsibility for this reason; as the person being impeached is the Speaker of Parliament,” Shairu said.

Speaking on behalf of the Democrats, West Henveiru MP Hassan Latheef said that any other lawmaker appointed by the Speaker of Parliament to preside over the sitting in circumstances Speaker is unable to fulfill his responsibilities does not inherit the power that is bestowed upon the Speaker. The only power they get is to preside over a sitting, he added. 

Hassan Latheef said the Deputy Speaker is the only person who shares the powers of the Speaker of Parliament. 

He said other lawmakers have been obstructed from being conferred that power to obstruct them from presiding over the impeachment case and concluding it unjustly. 

Underscoring that the parliament is a separate power and the sensitivity of what is happening within the parliament is too great, Hassan Latheef said the regulations of the parliament should be enforced within the parliament. 

Shairu said the Democrats believe that the Supreme Court adding anything to the parliament's regulations is changing them.

It is unconstitutional and the Supreme Court does not have that power, he said.

Article 205 of the parliament's regulations does not stipulate the course of action if the Duty Speaker is unable to preside sitting. MDP is asking the Supreme Court to establish leeway for the no-confidence motion to proceed even if it is achieved by a member other than the Deputy Speaker presiding over the sitting.