The Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) disciplinary dommittee has invalidated MDP MP Abdulla Jabir’s place on the party ticket for the Majlis elections in March.
MDP disciplinary committee chair and MP Hamid Abdul Ghafoor today told Minivan News that the decision was made after he had repeatedly voted against the party whip.
“The disciplinary committee is not giving out details of it but we can only confirm that the decision was made and the committee has asked the party secretariat to implement the decision,’’ he said.
He said the decision was made last Thursday,with the party secretariat being informed the same day.
The MDP parliamentary primaries are ongoing, though Jabir was uncontested for the Kaashidhoo constituency seat.
When queried about other MPs that had voted against the party line, Hamid said that there was no documentation that other MPs had repeatedly voted against the party whip.
“The MDP’s parliamentary group has a policy that says that an MP’s case should be filed in the disciplinary committee only when the MP repeatedly works against the party stand,’’ he added.
MP Jabir’s mobile phone was switched off and Minivan News was not able to obtain his comment regarding the matter.
During the December 30 endorsement of President Abdulla Yameen’s cabinet, a three-line whip was issued by the MDP’s parliamentary group ordering the rejection of eight nominees.
The eight cabinet members include Defense Minister Mohamed Nazim, Tourism Minister Ahmed Adheeb, Islamic Minister Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed, Minister of Health and Gender Maryam Shakeela, Minister of Transport and Communication Ameen Ibrahim, Finance Minister Abdulla Jihad, and Housing Minister Mohamed Muizzu on the grounds they were “coup ministers” having served in the administration of President Dr Mohamed Waheed.
The MDP also rejected Home Minister Umar Naseer saying that various speeches given by him at political rallies made it “evident that he will not be loyal to Yameen”.
MDP MPs Abdulla Jabir, Zahir Adam, Ahmed Rasheed, Mohamed Rasheed, Abdulla Abdul Raheem, and Ahmed Easa were the six MDP parliamentarians who breached the three-line whip on that day.
Easa told Minivan News earlier this month that his breach of party instructions with regards to the tourism minister had been a mistake, describing it as the biggest of his political career.
On December 29, parliament scheduled the passing of the penal code, with MP Jabir voting against the legislation after the MDP had already decided to pass it – describing the bill as “too harsh”.
Jabir is well known for his frequent party defections. His first political party was Dhivehi Rayithunge Party (DRP) during the presidency of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, before switching to the People’s Alliance.
Jabir then defected to the Jumhooreee Party (JP) ahead of the 2008 presidential elections, backing JP leader and business tycoon Gasim Ibrahim. Jabir was appointed as the party’s deputy leader.
He subsequently switched to the MDP, holding senior positions within the party. He also announced his intention to contest for the MDP chairmanship.
During the protests following the detention of Chief Judge of Criminal Court Abdulla Mohamed in early 2012, however, Jabir once again declared that he had defected from the MDP back to the JP.
Jabir became an MP after winning the by-election for the vacant Kaashidhoo constituency seat on a JP ticket. Following his arrest and charges of alcohol possession in late 2012, Jabir became an open critic of the Waheed government, eventually reverting back to the MDP in December the same year.