Majlis Members nominated to the Judicial Services Commission face a catch-22 situation. When a general election is announced they must contest the election and retain their Majlis seat, or they will lose their place in the Commission. But if they contest the election they automatically vacate their place in the Commission. Thus either way they are doomed. At least this would be the scenario if we are to go by the legal opinion of Attorney General Dhiyana Saeed.
The issue heated up when the present Majlis nominee to the Commission, Thaa Member Hassan Afeef, who is also Chairman of the Commission, filed his nomination to defend his Majlis seat in the coming general election. Citing Article 10 of the Law on Judicial Services Commission, AG Dhiyana has said that Afeef has automatically forfeited his Commission membership. Below is an unofficial translation of the relevant parts of Article 10.
"Article 10: The following are the conditions under which a Commission Member's position may be deemed vacant: … (a.4). Contesting in an election for a political post under the Constitution or under a law…"
Applying this Article to all other members (Except the Ex-Officio members) poses no problems because they may complete their full 5-year terms without taking part in an election. But for a Majlis member nominated to the Commission, it is simply impossible to complete a 5-year term. This contravenes Article 6 of the Law, which says the term of all members (other than ex-officio) is 5 years.
Some legal experts are of the view that it is inappropriate to apply Article 10 literally in isolation without considering other articles particularly Article 6 and without considering common sense or the purpose behind the law. They say a reasonable solution to the impasse would be to allow Afeef to continue in the Commission till the dissolution of the current Majlis.
For the Dhivehi original of the Law click here