The Civil Court has decided to postpone the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s suit against police until further notice from the High Court, following the dismantling of the party’s protest campsite at ‘Raalhugandu’ on March 19.
The Civil Court’s decision followed a court order from High Court to postpone the trial until the Court had concluded a case lodged by the state challenging the legitimacy of MDP former President Dr Ibrahim Didi, according to local media outlets.
The State Attorney’s issue was that Dr Didi, who signed the form to file the case in the Civil Court, was elected as the president in accordance to an amended version of the MDP Charter which was not submitted to the Elections Commission (EC). That, the state contended, made the appointment illegitimate and Dr Didi ineligible to present the case to the court on behalf of MDP. As such, the state requested the trial be discontinued.
However, the Civil Court’s presiding judge decided that the laws did not state that the amended articles of the charter would be void if not presented to the Elections Commission, and decided to continue the trial.
The Attorney General (AG)’s Office then appealed the Civil Court’s decision to continue the trial. The High Court ordered the Civil Court to postpone the trial until it reached a conclusion.
A similar issue was raised by the State Attorney at the beginning of the trial of the case in which MDP Acting Chairperson and MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik signed the form to file the case in the Civil Court. The state at the time contended that Acting Chairpersons did not have the authority to file cases in court on behalf of MDP according to the MDP charter, and requested the court discontinue the trial.
The Civil Court then threw the case out of court. Then-President Dr Didi signed the form and resubmitted it to the Civil Court.
The MDP protest campsite at the ‘Raalhugandu’ area inside the Antenna Park, was granted to MDP by Male’ City Council, which has a substantial MDP majority. The camp was dismantled by the police and military hours after President Dr Waheed Hassan Manik delivered his presidential address to parliament on March 19.
Many MDP supporters who had come to Male’ from the islands after the controversial transfer of power on February 7 had camped in the area.