The main opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) has requested that the Elections Commission remove the name of Umar Naseer, its former Deputy Leader, from the party’s membership list.
The calls follow an escalating war of words between Naseer and the party’s current leader, Ahmed Thasmeen Ali, over the former deputy’s dismissal from the DRP late last year that more recently led to violent clashes at a meeting held at DRP headquarters.
Acknowledging the DRP’s request, Elections Commissioner Fuad Thaufeeq said that Naseer has also sent a letter to the commission in an attempt to counter the calls to remove him.
“The commission is now considering the matter and will go for a conclusion today or sometime tomorrow,” said Thaufeeq. “Most of the time, these matters end up in the party’s favour.”
However, as the case has not yet reached a conclusion, Thaufeeq said the commission could not say anything on the case.
Umar Naseer was dismissed from his post by the party’s disciplinary committee back in December after he attempted to conduct a protest that was allegedly unauthorized by DRP leadership.
Naseer said in September that Thasmeen did not want him in the DRP. The former deputy leader alleged that Thasmeen was therefore attempting to dismiss him after the DRP council voted narrowly to move ahead with a disciplinary hearing.
Tensions have risen within the party between supporters loyal to both Thasmeen and Naseer, leading to some MPs including the dismissed deputy to fly out to Malaysia to meet with former president and DRP “honorary leader” Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.
Gayoom returned to the Maldives last week in order to try and reinstate unity in the DRP along with assisting its local council elections campaign.
Gayoom described the disputes in the DRP as ‘disputes’ rather than the formation of faction.
So far, Naseer has not accepted the decision of the disciplinary committee, claiming that the decision was against the party’s charter.