Food For Thought

Facing reality.......

A coup d’├ętat is usually brought about by people who are convinced that they cannot acquire power through democratic means and / or those whose vital interests are mightily threatened without power .

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Pendulum Is Swinging

The Supreme Court gave a ruling today in the Case of the Century. They ruled, but did not decide. The plaintiffs pleaded the Court for a ruling that the Parliament had violated the Constitution and that the Parliament would stand dissolved on the first of March. Surprisingly, the Supreme Court was silent on both counts in its “verdict”. I had always thought that people went to Court for a remedy regarding a grievance. The Supreme Court certainly gave none in this instance. I am a bit baffled that “eminent lawyers” are claiming that the Supreme Court decision was in favour of the plaintiffs. Must be because I am not a lawyer. I suppose only lawyers are expected to understand Court decisions, and an interpretation has to be made on how the Court interpreted the Law. A bit convoluted, all this legal stuff, I conclude.

In the most convoluted decision to ever come out of a Maldivian Court, what was apparent is this: The Supreme Court is of the opinion that they are the Supreme body in the country, and they do not recognize Parliamentary immunity.

This is exactly what I have been fearful of (Refer my Post entitled “The Power Pendulum”). I have seen this coming from a distance.

The Court referred to “inherent jurisdiction of the Supreme Court” when the Constitution quite clearly states only four instances of original jurisdiction for the Supreme Court, and everything else is referred to jurisdiction as defined by the Law (of which there is nothing yet), or original jurisdiction of a case on appeal against a High Court decision. How can there be “inherent jurisdiction and powers of a court” in constitutional supremacy?

This case has opened a door for a tug of war, the ultimate result of which can only be a Judiciary whose powers will be curtailed. They have committed what would be considered sacrilege in most democracies.

The flexing of their muscles is further evident in a statement issued by the Supreme Court which warns that anyone commenting on a Supreme Court decision will be punished. Where in the world did they gain the power to limit the right of speech through a press release? Does the copy of the Constitution they refer to come minus article 16 and article 19? They have ventured again into the exclusive powers of the Parliament : the power to make law and define punishable offences.

This is my worst nightmare coming true. After ruling against Parliamentary immunity, they are shamelessly moving onto curtailing fundamental rights and freedoms and liberties of the people. Well, the “eminent lawyers” may sit and watch in awe and reverence at the power of the Supreme Court. They may very conveniently disregard the issue when the Supreme Court shifts immunity from Parliament to the Supreme Court. But I shan’t. The Supreme Court can put me in jail if they like. But even they will not strip me of my right and freedom to express myself. I purchased that right with my own sweat and blood from a tyrant who ruled this country for 30 years.

Yes, the Pendulum is Swinging. It hasn’t stopped yet. Right now, it is on the verge of going out of tolerance range.

16 comments:

  1. Where did I hear that giving Democracy to Maldivians is like handing a hanky to a monkey?

    They'll just wipe their behinds with it?

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  2. So Ibra, what does this decision mean? Does it not mean that the parliament have to do everything they can to meet that deadline (and also comply with other conditions of free&fair etc).

    Parliamentary immunity does not mean irresponsibility. A big part of the Maldivian populace is divided on this issue, and the parliamentarians and the court orders still keeps confusing us all.

    So what is it Ibra? Does those dates have to be met or is just a guideline still? If those are guidelines is the 5 year term for a president also a guideline not a strict one that absolutely needs to be adhered to?

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  3. Ibra,

    Majlis needs to teach the Supreme court its boundaries. Are you going to do anything about this in the Majlis?

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  4. Ibra, please why don’t you inscribe something concerning these killings in male? Is it not significant to you? otherwise you don’t have in the least concern in bringing this government answerable to these gang wars and fight. Or don’t you believe this elected administration is singing the similar song, like Maumoon to gain vote, leaving the bunch of criminals in male to fight and destruct the reputation of police.
    notify our president this isn’t Colombo (cause ibra you part of this government) , we don’t fancy to witness countless police wandering around in male ( one mile) with helmets and sticks in the name of security, this government ought to unearth an immediate solutions for this ( even if don’t have a good opposition doesn’t necessarily mean that this administration will get away with killings on the road ) . I voted president nasheed simply for one motive I wish for me and my family to walk in male with no panic and fear which maumoon fashioned.
    We require a stern administration rather than at all times pin pointing, what maumoon did in his 30 years of terror. Please for god sake discover us a way out from this gangs and dismantle them. Godless us all ( note: please sideline this for a while: dhathurufathuru and ayfoaraafashah, budget nai, free us from fear of killing male and other islands please
    Your writings are extremely logical. Please give me your thought on this subject

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  5. If im not mistaken wasnt it you who rallied outside theemuge to ask maumoon for an appointment to hurry up the date for signing the constitution. Now i see you on tv saying a delay is okay with the parliamentry election, so as not to take a decision "heybonara". This could be the same reasons why maumoon took his time.
    Why do you change colors to suit ur convienience?
    Why did you want to hurry that process and not this?
    You lot are so self serving?

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  6. @Anonymous (Jan 14, 9:53 pm)

    I have written on the subject many times.What more is there to say? Please check :

    http://ibra2008.blogspot.com/2008/11/shaneedh.html

    @Anonymous (Jan 14, 10:39 pm) :

    Everything is not either black or white in this political game. You have only taken a fraction of what I said on tv. Write out the rest as well.

    If Qayyoom had sent back the Constitution without ratification, it would have required a two thirds absolute majority to get it passed with or without amendments. Not quite the same as the decision that was taken by Parliament to avoid nullifying the effects of Article 170 of the constitution regarding the parliamentary elections, is it?

    Self serving? What is your unjustified attack on my integrity serving?

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  7. *sigh*
    In the language of my countrymen.

    *FACEPALM*

    Only that gesture aquedately describes the sheer idiocity of this situation.

    We need deterrence - now.

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  8. Ibra,

    This issue is the first you have seriously disappointed me. You believe in parliamentary supremacy and not the constitution? Whatever the reason, nobody can challenge the parliament in a court? The only way to check on the parliament is in every 5 years in an election? Oh common! Even if they vote to ignore something specifically required by the constitution? I am shocked to learn your stand on this. I thought you were the last person who would take such a stand. I believe that if anybody does something against the constitution, every Maldivian should have the right to take it to a court. Nobody should be above the constitution. Whether the parliament or institution is suspected of doing something against the constitution there has to be a way to challenge it and it should only be proved with a trial in a court. Anything else the parliament does, ofcourse nobody should have the right to question. This is not a parliamentary system where the parliament and the executive are the same. We must have constitutional supremacy!

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  9. Does the majlis have power to legislate against supreme court ruling.

    http://www.supremecourt.gov.mv/di/

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  10. If this Majlis fails to deliver on what is required of it and uphold the promising new August Constitution, the people should come out and lock the House and dissolve it. People who are paid beyond our means cannot be left to hijack the People.

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  11. If this Majlis fails to deliver on what is required of it and uphold the promising new August Constitution, the people should come out and lock the House and dissolve it. People who are paid beyond our means cannot be left to hijack the People.

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  12. @Shihab :
    I would really like you leading the charge, Shihab. About time you actually did something. We have done our bit over tyhe past four years. At least now you can be certain that you will not be beaten and jailed for "dissolving" the Parliament. You know, our work would have been so much easier if you had joined us on Jumhooree Maidhaan on 12/13 August 2004 or maybe you could have joined Anni on Nov 10th to "lock the Majlis and force the members to finish the constitution" while Qayyoom was in full power. Shake a leg, Shihab. And get a refill of the coffee.

    @Anonymous (Jan 15, 4:01 pm) :
    Depends on what. If it is secondary legislation, I believe tha Majlis can legislate to change an Interpretation of the legislation. But on matters involving interpretation of the Constitution, Majlis will have to abide by the ruling of the Supreme Court, provided that the Supreme Court is ruling on a matter which is within the jurisdiction of the Court to rule in the first place.

    @Anonymous (Jan 15, 10:03 am):
    As I said before, I am not wiriting or arguing about Parliamentary Supremacy. Don't be shocked. I am not taking a new stand, or changing my stand. I have always beleived and advocated for, the Supreme Power to be the People.

    Don't get caught up in jargon. What is Constitutional Supremacy? Wouldn't the Supreme COurt itsdelf have to be subjected to the Constitution when the Constitution is Supreme? Where do we go for a ruling on an interpretation of the Constitution which involves the Supreme Court itself?

    In the current case ( and a case before this) the Supreme Court has ruled in favour of ITSELF, involving its OWN jurisdiction.

    This is what I am arguing against. The decision that Majlis made may be right, it may be wrong. The issue is not that. The issue is, how can the Supreme Court interpret the Constitution in a matter involving itself. It is like me saying to you that my interpretation of the constitution is that you have to ask me before you do anything, therefore whatever you do is subject to my ruling. Stupid, isn't it?

    Parliament, through representatives of the people, have to uphold the power of the people. Parliament can only be made accountable by the People and no one else. You,and many others are caught up in the spin of power crazy politicians. What you don't realize is that Parliament is the only place where you can exercise any power, and you are advocating to kill the power of the Parliament.

    Good Luck to all of you. Go on and put the ultimate decision making power of this nation in the hands of five people who are appointed for life, and who cannot be made accountable by anyone. Swing the dictatorship from the President to the Supreme Court. I think I should just watch from the sidelines from now on.

    I just saw today's quote on my blog. It is a quote by Jonathan Swift, and it says "It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into."

    How aptly he describes the phenomenon of contemporary Maldives!

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  13. Shihab,

    You are one hell of a person to comment on this. Aren't you one of the members of the commitee who oversaw the presidential or parliamentary system. What a farce that was. You directly benefit from people like salih. How can you even start thinking about the good of the Maldives or her people. Go have another coffee and criticize the good people of this country who is trying to do some good things to this country. You are one of those self claimed "wannabe intellectuals" who does not have the balls to do anything but would like to come out and portray yourself as a hero and take credit off the people who shed their blood to get these freedoms. Get a life.

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  14. ibra, you need to campaige a little, because we still do not agree on recess. but i like your attititude of standing firm on your bleifs and not trying to be politically correct. thats what we need in this country right now. honesty- to your country and yourself.

    we do not want parliment to be full of yes sir people as mdp is trying to do now. we only want, NOT to give majority to drp. even yameen the Don should be in parlmient. because lately we like what he is talking.

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  15. @January 16, 2009 7:21:00 AM MVT:

    I knows what Ibra means when he tells me to do my bit and shake a leg... and respect what he means...

    But I am sorry that you are ill-informed on what I did for the "good of this nation"... And btw it was the Raa Kaaf Committee Elections that I was charged with, and it would be good to find out how it all went... And also find out NEW elements of a free and fair election that were introduced by the committee which oversaw the elections and how it impacted the mindsets of people about the elections that followed... The minutes and documentation should be in the xAtolls Ministry...

    And I am what I am today because I did not want to touch a penny that I did not earn...

    I despise the current Majlis for reasons I have because I love this nation...

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  16. DRP is very very scared and hell bent on getting the majority of majlis. the reason is simple. the current or future majlis may recover stolen money from DRP crooks and investigate mother of all corrptions like FPID and airmaldives and STO STELCO MNSML.

    thank you to auditor general for exposing bank of maldives loan scandal. hope majlis will act soon on all above.

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