JP leader speaks against granting powers to commissions

Speaker of the parliament, Gasim Ibrahim has stated that the constitution does not allow granting excessive powers to presidential commissions formed by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

The leader of Jumhooree Party made the statement while speaking at a campaign event of former police commissioner Abdulla Riyaz.

In his statement, Gasim said it is not sensible that the powers and authorities granted to certain institutions are overlooked and granted to newly established presidential commissions. The authorities granted to the Anti-corruption Commission, the Prosecutor General's Office, and Maldives Police Service cannot be combined and granted to a commission comprising of seven members, said Gasim.

"Establishing a commission and duplicating the authority already granted by the constitution [to certain institutions] cannot be allowed by the constitution", said Gasim.

Gasim recalled that previous presidents had also established presidential commissions but had not attempted to grant excessive authority to these commissions. If the current administration's attempt to do so is successful, it would prove that the government is not headed in the right direction, said Gasim.

While Gasim spoke against granting the authorities to the commissions, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih had recently expressed concern regarding the delay in passing the bills granting authority to the presidential commissions on suspicious deaths and enforced disappearances, and corruption. The bills were presented to the parliament in the early days after the current government took over administration, but has failed to pass on three attempts due to absence of required number of members needed for voting.

The parliament recently announced that the bill granting sweeping powers to two commissions will not be pursued until the research done by the Committee on Independent Institutions on the bill is reviewed.

The establishment of the two presidential commission were a presidential pledge of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. The commissions were put together on the first day of administration.