Parliament’s judiciary committee has been authorised to begin the process of dismissing Prosecutor General Aishath Bisham.
In line with the new standing orders, Speaker Mohamed Nasheed made the announcement at Wednesday’s sitting after the oversight committee decided to relaunch the impeachment process on the previous day.
The new rules require the speaker to make an announcement once he is informed of the committee decision. A no-confidence vote will take place after the committee makes a recommendation to the floor.
Lawmakers accuse the chief prosecutor of failing to take action in cases of murder, corruption and extremism last year, Nasheed said.
According to the constitution, a Prosecutor General could only be removed “on the ground of misconduct, incapacity or incompetence” after a finding to that effect by a parliamentary committee is approved by a majority of MPs present and voting.
Appearing at the oversight committee in July, Bisham denied facing political influence despite the widely condemned jailing of former president Abdulla Yameen’s opponents. She denied raising charges on Yameen’s orders and defended the reversal of the prosecution’s stand in several cases after last year’s presidential election.
In the wake of Yameen’s defeat, lawmakers accused the chief prosecutor of failing to perform her duties but a no-confidence motion was later withdrawn. Despite winning a nearly three-quarters majority in April’s parliamentary elections, the Maldivian Democratic Party did not move to remove Bisham.