MDP asks High Court to halt Feydhoo primary election court case

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has asked the High Court to issue an injunction halting the ongoing Civil Court case filed by MDP MP Alhan Fahmy disputing the result of the party’s Feydhoo constituency primary election.

The party asked that the case be halted until deliberations were concluded on a procedural issue raised with the High Court.

The MDP had suggested that the Civil Court could not proceed with the case as Alhan had not completed all the party’s internal appeal procedures.

Newspaper Haveeru reported that Alhan told the High Court bench today that an injunction against court proceedings could only be issued in situations where either the defendant or respondent might face damage beyond repair should the case continue.

Judges questioned the MDP’s lawyer as to whether the party charter specified that a member could not file a lawsuit against a party decision without first taking the case to the party’s appeal committee, reported the paper.

The MDP lawyer acknowledged that the charter did not state that a member could not file a lawsuit.

The party’s legal representatives did note that Alhan’s stabbing – from which he has been recovering in Sri Lanka – came 18 hours after the party announced the primary results for Feydhoo constituency, giving him time to have filed a case with the appeal committee.

After losing the contest for this month’s Majlis elections to Mohamed Nihad in February, Alhan claimed that the list used on polling day was different from the eligible voter lists, and that any candidate who won the party ticket through a fraudulent vote could not be a valid one.

Last week, the Civil Court informed Alhan that it was beyond its jurisdiction to invalidate the candidacy of Nihad.

Alhan has called for a fresh vote in the constituency, claiming the voter list used at polling stations was outdated and did not afford 67 party members the right to vote.

The MDP’s election committee confirmed that 67 members were missing from the list at the ballot box, but decided against holding a re-vote, arguing that the primary outcome would not change even if these members were allowed to vote.

On February 1 – the same day Alhan announced that he would file a case with the court to cancel the primary – he was stabbed while at Breakwater cafe in the artificial beach area of Malé.

Following the attack Alhan’s left leg was paralysed though he has since regained the ability to walk with the aid of a crutch.

Alhan rejoined the MDP in June 2013 after an apparently acrimonious departure in April of the previous year. Party vice president at the time, Alhan was ejected – alongside party President Dr Ibrahim Didi – after the pair publicly questioned the MDP’s official interpretation of the February 7 ousting of President Mohamed Nasheed.

The Feydhoo MP subsequently organised a rally – sparsely attended – calling for the freeing of the MDP from the influence of Nasheed. Alhan subsequently joined the government-aligned Jumhooree Party.

The MP was initially elected to parliament on a Dhivehi Rayithunge Party (DRP) ticket, making him one of the few MPs to have been a member of almost every major political party represented in parliament, barring the DRP’s splinter party, the Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM).

Alhan is now contesting in the parliament election as an independent candidate.