Malé, Maldives - MP Ghassan Maumoon, the Vice President of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), has expressed his views on the recent International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) decision regarding the Maldives Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The ruling resulted in the Maldives losing 45,331 square kilometers of its EEZ to Mauritius.
In a Twitter thread, MP Ghassan Maumoon pointed out that ITLOS decisions are governed by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Although the Maldives is a member of UNCLOS, he highlighted that Article 93(b) of the Maldivian Constitution stipulates that a treaty would be binding on the people only as determined by a statute passed by the Parliament of Maldives.
MP Ghassan argued that there is no such law making ITLOS decisions binding on the Maldivian people. He further claimed that the Maldivian government's legal stand and decisions in the ITLOS case were made against the Constitution and the Laws of Maldives.
As a result, MP Ghassan Maumoon believes that the ITLOS decision is not binding on the people of Maldives. He maintains that Maldivian fishermen can lawfully fish within the full 200 km EEZ in the south of Maldives and that the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) and the Coast Guard must guard and protect the full EEZ of Maldives, in accordance with their oath.
In a related development, Speaker of the Parliament and President of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), President Nasheed, has also called for not recognizing the ITLOS ruling. His stance further adds to the growing opposition against the decision, highlighting the controversy surrounding the maritime boundary delimitation.