Speaker decides to begin proceedings to remove PG from office

Speaker of the Parliament and former president of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed has made the decision to instruct the Judiciary Committee to begin proceedings to dismiss Prosecutor General (PG) Aishath Bisham.

The decision comes after the Parliament's Judiciary Committee made the decision to pursue Bisham's dismissal during their sitting held Wednesday. This is the second time the Judiciary Committee has approved to remove Bisham from her post during the 19th Parliament.

Bisham's removal was first proposed by the Vice Chair of the Judiciary committee and Fonadhoo MP Moosa Siraj. Although the Judiciary Committee initially approved to proceed with the PG's dismissal, the decision was later dismissed as 'it contradicted the principles' of main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).

Bisham's dismissal was proposed a second time by Mathiveri MP Hassan Zareer during the Judiciary Committee meeting held Tuesday. The proposition was accepted by the committee, and the decision was informed to the Parliament Secretariat to be announced to the Parliament floor.

The current parliament rules mandates for the decision to be announced to the Parliament floor. The issue will once again be sent back to the committee following announcement for assesment, after which a decision will be made regarding the removal by the Judiciary Committee. The decision will then be sent to the parliament floor for voting.

Beginning Wednesday's parliament sitting, Speaker Nasheed said the members of the parliament do not believe adequate action was taken by the Prosecutor General to address the deaths, corruption and terror crimes that occured within the last year. Therefore, Nasheed made the decision to forward the matter of Bisham's removal to the Judiciary Committee for review.

According to the Prosecutor General's Act, the PG may be removed from office on the grounds of misconduct, incapacity or incompetence. Nasheed said the Prosecutor General's failure to take action on serious criminal matters shows her incompetence.

MDP has previously stated that the party would pursue Bisham's dismissal if the party attained parliament majority. While the main ruling party holds super majority of the parliament, criticism has been directed at the party over delays in removing the PG from her post.

Bisham was appointed as the Prosecutor General by former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom. Bisham was highly criticized by the opposition during the former administration over raising criminal charges against opposition leaders at the time.