It has been nearly one month since the Independent Institutions Committee made its recommendation to impeach the two top officials at Maldives Broadcasting Commission; President Mohamed Shaheeb and Vice President Fathimath Zaina. The committee’s report hasn’t been read, and the impeachment motion has remained stymied.
Independent Institutions Committee passed its motion for a parliamentary vote to dismiss Shaheeb and Zaina on July 24.
Chairperson of the Independent Institutions Committee, Addu Meedhoo MP Rozaina Adam confirms the report was sent to Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed.
The Parliament has been holding regular sessions. However, the motion hasn’t been scheduled and the reason for the delay is unclear.
The Independent Institutions Committee made its decision to start impeachment proceedings with the unanimous consensus of all committee members.
Article 12 (b) of Broadcast Act establishes that the Parliament must take an impeachment vote to dismiss a member of the Maldives Broadcasting Commission. And Article 12 (c) of Broadcast Act establishes that a member who is up for impeachment must be allowed to speak in his/her defence before such a vote is taken.
The Article, however, does not set down a notice period for the member to speak in his/her defence before an impeachment vote is taken.
COMMITTEE’S REASONS FOR SHAHEEB’S DISMISSAL
- Scheduling cases at commission’s meeting unlawfully.
- Allowance of decisions by the commission which opened room for violation of constitutional rights.
- Failure to take any measure to stop the deposit of allowance to former BroadCom VP Ismail Sofwan’s bank account despite him having been absent from work for months, despite him having regularly withdrawn his salary despite being absent from work for months, and despite the situation being brought to his attention by other commission members.
COMMITTEE’S REASONS FOR ZAINA’S DISMISSAL
- Submission of cases to the commission in violation of principles of fairness and equality, and to effect unfair advantages to specific parties.
- Engagement in political activities which undermine her impartiality
An investigation into other commission members is in progress by the Independence Institutions Committee.
Rozaina reports a decision regarding the other commission members will be made after they are interviewed.
BroadCom’s former VP Ismail Sofwan and member Hassan Nabah voluntarily resigned from the commission soon after the parliamentary committee began its investigation into the commission.
Speaker Nasheed recently suggested establishing an additional committee to undertake appointment and dismissal of officials to independent State institutions. The suggestion failed to take with the MDP parliamentary group.
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Source URL: Sun.mv