Speaker being a member of JSC is not political: Nasheed

Speaker Mohamed Nasheed has stated that the Parliament Speaker sits on the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) not on political grounds but as a representative of the parliament.

As per the constitution, the person in the position of Parliament Speaker must sit on JSC as one of its members. While debating the resignation of Criminal Court judge, Ahmed Najeeb, Mahibadhoo MP Ahmed Thoriq during Monday's parliament sitting said the JSC's composition is structured in such a way that those involved in politics sit on the commission. Speaker Nasheed, MP Hisaan Hussain, Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath, Ibrahim Masthoor Husny, all of whom are JSC members are politicians and a political influence is therefore exerted on the legal system, said Thoriq.

Responding to Thoriq, MP Ibrahim Nazil representing Hithadhoo Central constituency – MP Hisaan’s spouse- said JSC had the same composition during the administration of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM). He requested Speaker Nasheed to state the composition of JSC.

Speaker Nasheed said the current composition of JSC is based on the constitution that is in effect since 2008. As per the constitution, the Parliament Speaker is not considered a political figure as the Speaker is part of JSC, said Nasheed.

After Nasheed’s statement, he provided another opportunity for Thoriq to comment on the matter. Following that Thoriq said Speaker Nasheed is a former president of the Maldives who won an election with a political party ticket. There would not be anyone more political than the former President Nasheed, said Thoriq.

Speaker Nasheed said if he steps aside from JSC, it would be detrimental for the country. Therefore, it is imperative that he is a member of JSC, stressed Speaker Nasheed.

The JSC is comprised of 10 members; Speaker of the parliament, a member of parliament, a member assigned by the president, Attorney General, Judges of the courts, a member representing lawyers, Civil Service Commission’s President, and a member representing the public. Reforming JSC is a pledge of the main-ruling party, Maldives Democratic Party (MDP).