The Elections Commission (EC) of the Maldives has strongly condemned remarks made by Former Attorney General Dr Mohamed Munawar, after the commission said not enough people had attended the formation of his ‘Reform Movement’ party for it to be registered.
The dispute between the Elections Commission and Dr Munawar occurred after commission members appeared at a meeting held at Villa College by Dr Munawar to establish his new political party.
The formative meeting of the party required the attendance of a minimum of 300 members in order to meet the regulatory requirements for the establishment of a political party. Dr Munavar said canceled the meeting and the new party was not formed.
The Elections Commission said in a statement that ”although Dr Munavar claimed that the meeting to form his party had to be canceled when the commission members attended the meeting, the meeting must be attended by a minimum of 300 person according to Political Party Regulations 2005, 8[c]. The number of people who attended the meeting was less than 140.”
The Commission said that the meeting began the with the Quran recitation after it was announced that the legally-mandated number of people were present. But while the meeting was ongoing it was called off by Dr Munavar himself, saying that the legal number of members were not present.
”It is a responsibility of the Elections Commission to ensure that at least 300 members attend a meeting before a political party is recognised,” the Elections Commission said.
Dr Munavar later criticised the Commission’s conduct of the recent local council elections, telling VTV that the elections were held against the constitution.
The Commission said that Dr Munavar’s remarks were intended disregard the commission and smear its respect and dignity.
Dr Munavar was a former president of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) prior to his resignation. He has been absent from politics until recently.