Former Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) President Dr Ibrahim Didi has said he will take concerns over the legitimacy of a no confidence motion taken against him last month to the country’s courts, after the Elections Commission (EC) dropped his complaint.
Dr Didi, along with former party Vice President Alhan Fahmy, were both voted out of their respective positions by the MDP’s National Council in a vote held on April 30. Both were dismissed through a no-confidence motion approved by 69 out of 73 votes – though Didi and Fahmy have been critical of the legality of the vote.
The MDP has contended that the dismissal case is “over” following the passing of the no-confidence motion against the president and vice president.
However, Dr Didi told Minivan News today that his lawyers were currently sending a case to the courts regarding his dismissal from the party’s presidency. He contends the no confidence motion was not taken in line with the MDP’s approved regulations registered with the EC at the time.
The comments were made as the EC this week said there was no action it could take relating to concerns raised by the former party president over the legality of the no-confidence motion against him.
EC Vice President Ahmed Fayaz claimed that the commission had not ruled on whether the MDP National Council had acted according to its regulations in dismissing the party president and vice president. Nonetheless, Fayaz added there was also no evidence to suggest the dismissal was unconstitutional under basic regulations.
“Dr Didi has sent us a letter stating that his dismissal was against the party’s constitution; as a regulator we looked into the matter,” he said. “We can’t say anything about whether the party acted according to its regulations, but we have not found any grounds that it was unconstitutional under these rules.”
Fayaz said Dr Didi’s dismissal from the presidency did not also appear to be in breach of regulations that were put in place when multi-party democracy was established under the tenure of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom in 2005.
Fayaz added that legislation that would oversee and outline correct procedures for operating political parties – such as no confidence motions against senior figures – did not currently exist. He added that the lack of such a law limited the action that could be taken in such a case.
Though a law to oversee governance among the country’s parties is demanded under the present constitution, the bill had still yet to be passed by the Majlis, Fayaz said.
Dr Ibrahim Didi said that, as the EC do not have legal grounds to rule on the no confidence motion, he would now work to submit a court case raising his concerns about the nature of his dismissal.
Dr Didi said he believed the MDP did not have proof to support claims that he has been dismissed legitimately in line with party regulations, which were amended on May 17, 2012.
“They [the party’s national council] do not have a legal right to take a no confidence motion under the registered regulations,” he added.
Dr Didi also raised concerns about the legitimacy of former President Nasheed’s exact position within the MDP following the controversial transfer of power in February that saw President Mohamed Waheed Hassan succeed him into office.
Didi raised issue that Nasheed retained leadership of the MDP despite no longer holding the position of Maldivian President.
Responding to Dr Didi’s criticisms, MDP Spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor said his dismissal case was “over” as far as the party was concerned.
Ghafoor pointed to several factors such as the findings of the EC, as well as the 95 percent council voting majority that approved the no confidence motion.
“When you have a 95 percent vote of no confidence against you by the party’s national council, I would say the case is over,” he said. “However, Dr Didi does not want to accept this.”
Ghafoor claimed additionally that the issue of former President Nasheed’s leadership role in the party was “not controversial” and had been agreed by the MDP council on February 8.
“During a MDP National Council resolution passed on February 8, we have always maintained that this government – [President Waheed’s administration] illegally came to power,” he said. “We believe that Nasheed remains our legitimate president and leader and will continue to do so for the full five year-term he was elected.”
The issue of legitimacy over the no confidence moiton against Dr Didi has been divisive during the last month. The India-sponsored all-party talks were stalled yet again as government-aligned parties raised the issue of legitimacy of the MDP’s present leadership.
However, Ghafoor alleged that Dr Didi’s main support as president of the MDP comes from government-aligned political figures such as former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM). He went on to question the long-term success in relying on rival political organisations to support one’s candidacy.
“I think Dr Didi should not count on Gayoom’s supporters to back him [for the MDP presidency],” Ghafoor claimed.