Elections Commissioner Fuad Thaufeeq has confirmed that Umar Naseer, former Deputy Leader of the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), has now been removed from the opposition party’s membership list, calling his dismissal an “internal dispute”.
”The DRP office requested the commission to remove his name from the party’s membership saying that they have dismissed him,” said Thaufeeq. ”So we removed his name accordingly in respect to the party’s wishes.”
Thaufeeq said that both DRP and Naseer have been informed of the commission’s decision.
”We also considered the letter sent to us by Naseer and we have responded to it,” he said. ”The issue with Umar and the DRP is really an internal issue, it is not the part of the commission to get in to such matters.”
Thaufeeq said that according to the DRP’s charter, anyone declining the decision of a disciplinary committee should turn to the party’s appeal committee. “We informed Mr Naseer that this is the way to resolve his issue,” he added.
Umar Naseer was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.
The DRP last week asked the Elections Commission to remove Naseer’s name from its membership list after the party’s disciplinary committee voted to dismiss him the previous month, leading to a growing war of words between the former deputy and current leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali.
The former deputy leader alleged that Thasmeen was purposely 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, flying 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 ongoing war of words within the DRP as ‘disputes’ rather than the formation of faction.
Umar Naseer was formerly the leader of Islamic Democratic Party (IDP), which he later abolished after the presidential elections, despite opposition from the party’s deputy leader and some supporters. Afterwards Umar joined DRP and got elected as a deputy leader during the last DRP congress.