Supreme Court Justice Dr Ahmed Abdulla Didi has been nominated as the Maldives’ new chief justice, with parliament set to vote on the pick Wednesday night.
President Abdulla Yameen also proposed Judges Abdulla Didi and Abdul Ghanee Mohamed as new appointees to the apex court bench in a letter addressed to the People’s Majlis (parliament).
The nominees, who were recommended by the Judicial Service Commission, have been forwarded to a Majlis committee for consideration.
Former chief justice Abdulla Saeed and Supreme Court justice Ali Hameed were removed from their positions last week after losing appeals against their criminal convictions.
An amendment to the Judges Act means that those convicted of a criminal offence automatically lose their position if the top court upholds their verdict and sentence.
Previously, a two-thirds Majlis majority vote was required to remove a judge even if he or she was found guilty.
Dr Ahmed Abdulla Didi was appointed to the Supreme Court’s permanent bench in 2010. He is currently the only sitting judge in the Maldives with a PhD.
Abdulla Didi, nominated for the top court’s bench, is the chief judge of the High Court. He was appointed to the High Court in 2015. Abdul Ghanee, also nominated for the Supreme Court bench, has been a High Court judge since 2004.
The chief justice gets a monthly package of MVR72,000 (US$4,674) including salary and allowances. The remaining four judges of the top court get a monthly pay of MVR70,000.
If approved by Majlis, Dr Didi will be the third chief justice to be appointed since the Supreme Court was established in 2010. The country’s first chief justice, Ahmed Faiz Hussain, was removed in 2014 following a legal amendment to decrease the number of judges on the Supreme Court bench.