'I should not be Parliament Speaker': Nasheed

Parliament Speaker and former President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed has said he does not believe he should be the Parliament Speaker.

Nasheed made the statement while speaking at a press conference held Wednesday in the capacity of Parliament Speaker. When asked by AVAS online on how the Judicial Service Commission must be constituted, Nasheed said reforming the JSC is part of main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)'s Agenda19 pledges. However, it does not state how the reform can be brought about, said Nasheed, adding that the real question is on who should sit on the commission.

The JSC is composed of ten members, including the Speaker of the Parliament, a judge of the Supreme Court, a judge of the High Court, a judge of the Lower Courts, a member of the Parliament, a member of the general public, the President of the Civil Service Commission, a person appointed by the President, the Attorney General, and a lawyer elected from among the lawyers licensed to practice in the Maldives.

Nasheed said the current JSC's current structure is based on the recommendation of the Commonwealth as well as a Canadian professor.

'When we look at how the judiciary of most Commonwealth countries are comprised, we can see that we need to bring some changes to JSC. During the last election, MDP was already speaking of bringing about these changes,' Nasheed said.

Nasheed said many finds it an issue that Nasheed sits in JSC as the Speaker of the Parliament. However, the Parliament Speaker is not a political person, he added.

'The Parliament Speaker should not be considered a political character based on how things are in the Maldives. However, you can see for yourself the political reality, here I am, as the Speaker of the Parliament. I cannot say I am not a political person. I am highlighting some of the imbalances in our constitution. Even I know I should not be the Speaker of the Parliament,' Nasheed said.

Nasheed further said reforming JSC alone is not enough to address and resolve the issues in the judicial system. While 13 years have passed since the constitution was ratified, this is the time to think about amending the constitution, said Nasheed.

The current administration has also said changes need to be brought to JSC structure. However, no such action has been taken thus far.