Additional reporting by Musliha Hassan
Former President of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Dr Ibrahim Didi and former Vice President Alhan Fahmy today signed up with the Jumhoory Party (JP) of local business tycoon Gasim Ibrahim.
Former MDP Secretary General Hassan Shah also signed for JP today.
Speaking at the signing ceremony this morning, Alhan Fahmy claimed Gasim Ibrahim’s “experience and service to the country” made him the most capable candidate to rule the country under the current situation.
Beyond his resort interests, Gasim owns television station VTV, is an MP, and a member of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC). VTV was shown on the state broadcaster after it was stormed by police and opposition demonstrators on February 7, while Gasim and several other then-opposition leaders gathered in police headquarters.
Dr Didi and Alhan Fahmy were removed from the MDP leadership posts in a no-confidence vote supported by 95 percent of the MDP’s National Congress on April 30, after the pair were accused of making statements contradictory to the party’s official line concerning February 7.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Gasim stated that former president Nasheed resigned after realising that he would no longer be able to rule the country.
“At some point the police and the military declined to obey his orders. If that is a coup, then it is a coup,” he said.
Gasim further alleged that Nasheed had given illegal orders to the police and military, and arrested people unconstitutionally and refused to release them – a reference to the detention of Chief Judge of the Criminal Court Abdullah Mohamed.
Gasim also said that Nasheed, who had resigned with the realisation that he had failed, was now trying to “hoodwink” people into thinking he had been ousted by a coup. He described Nasheed’s actions as poisoning the people.
Gasim said that Nasheed “should be arrested” by now and that with “the help of the constitution”, the current administration would arrest him.
Speaking at the ceremony, former Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) President Dr Ibrahim Didi said today he had opened a new page in his political career and looked forward to working for the nation on a JP platform.
” The message that I want to give to my friends and my relatives, is that from the day my political career began, I have been working in the best interest of the nation,” Didi said.
” Unfortunately, all the doors had been closed in [the MDP], and today, I am joining Jumhooree Party because I believe that this platform has all the doors opened for me,” he added.
He said that he did not find any substantial reason to believe that the ousting of former president Mohamed Nasheed had been a coup, and that if JP started mocking people and harassing Islam, he would leave immediately.
Speaking in the ceremony, former Vice President of MDP, MP Alhan Fahmy said that the country would not be able to recover if people were to follow in Nasheed or [former president] Gayoom.
He further alleged that both Nasheed and Gayoom, with the help of their close friends and family, wanted to establish a system in which they could stay in power without limitations.
” I want to say to the young people of the country, those that create and build ideologies. That is, we wont be able to steer our nation to the destinations that we want, if we are to blindly follow a few individuals,” he said.
Fahmy joined Didi in claiming that the controversial transfer of power was not a coup and that it was legitimate.
Also in the ceremony, former Secretary General of MDP, Hassan Shah, claimed that all MDP members knew how to do was gather in a place and protest.
Minivan News tried contacting Fahmy and Didi, but they did not respond at time of press.
Local newspaper Haveeru earlier reported that both Didi and Fahmy insisted on retaining the Presidential and Vice-Presidential positions within their new party, which required an amendment to JP regulations.
Didi and Fahmy were removed from their posts in the MDP after being accused of making statements in contradiction of the party’s official line, concerning the the events that led to the resignation of President Mohamed Nasheed on February 7.
A motion of no confidence was supported by 95 percent of the MDP’s National Congress on April 30. Both men disputed the legitimacy of the process which led to their ousting.
Dr Didi filed a complaint with the Elections Commission (EC), which was later dismissed, whilst Fahmy staged a sparsely attended ‘free MDP’ rally, protesting against what he alleged was the negative influence of Nasheed on the party.