DRP factions clash over use of party logo, resources

The opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party’s (DRP’s) faction loyal to former President Maumoon Abdul boycotted last night’s council meeting, where members from the rival faction expressed concern that the party’s logo and resources were being used without knowledge of either the DRP leadership or secretariat.

An unnamed council member told newspaper Haveeru that the DRP office was being billed for air time bought by members of the Gayoom faction without official approval.

Former Deputy Leader Umar Naseer, who was dismissed from the party in December, however told press today that “any member of the party has the right to use the logo.”

Umar also criticised the DRP council’s decision last night to finalise its 2010 audit report ahead of today’s deadline, claiming that the report makes no mention of the Rf500,000 (US$38,910) outstanding debt the party was ordered to pay Island Aviation by the Civil Court.

Umar claimed further that the audit firm was not given either adequate time to complete the report or proper details of the party’s expenses.

With the internal strife intensifying, MP Ahmed Mahlouf meanwhile told local media that the Gayoom faction was preparing to submit an amendment to article 119 of the Decentralisation Act to ensure that councillors who are dismissed from his or her party shall not be stripped of their seat.

The DRP Youth Wing President claimed that he had learned of schemes by DRP Leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali’s faction’s to dismiss councillors who did not side with them.

“If we have to, we will seek the [ruling Maldivian Democratic Party’s] MDP’s help with this,” said Mahlouf, suggesting that “Thasmeen faction” MPs would not vote in favour of the amendment.