The Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) National Council has declared a lack of confidence in the leadership of the party’s President, former Fisheries Minister Dr Ibrahim Didi, and its Vice-President, former Dhivehi Rayithunge Party (DRP) MP Alhan Fahmy.
At a meeting this afternoon at Dharubaaruge, 69 of 73 votes cast (almost 95 percent) were in support of the no-confidence motion for both Didi and Fahmy’s leadership. Four members abstained from voting for either motion.
Hamid Abdul Ghafoor, the newly-elected Secretary General of the Party’s Parliamentary Group and International Spokesperson who submitted the motion, said the issue was “political” rather than “personal”.
“This was a solemn occasion and I took no pleasure in it. But it was a good day for the party and a good day for democracy. We have shown that the largest party in this country can act democratically,” said Ghafoor.
The MDP stated that the motion was triggered after both Dr Didi and Fahmy made public statements contradicting the party’s position established following a resolution passed on February 8, recognising that former President Mohamed Nasheed and his cabinet were ousted by illegitimate means through a coup d’état.
The MDP maintained that as the transfer of power was illegal, former President Nasheed and his cabinet should continue to sit in the National Council as senior members of government.
A similar vote had been proposed earlier in the month, with the National Council deciding to conduct further investigations into the supposed manipulation of the party’s constitution on this occasion.
The party member responsible for this earlier motion, Chair of Elections Committee Ibrahim Waheed, said at the time: “The reason for the submission was that some of the party’s leaders have been issuing statements and interviews against the MDP’s Constitution.”
Ghafoor reported that Fahmy had spoken at the meeting, requesting more information on his alleged misdemeanours.
“He claimed the charges were untrue and asked me for a more detailed explanation. I said that we should leave the decision to the membership,” reported Ghafoor.
“I proposed the motion but I did it for the security and protection of the party,” he said.
Dr Didi was not present at the meeting this afternoon. Neither Didi nor Alhan were available for comment, although Alhan posted on Twitter that is was “a bad day for democracy”, shortly after the close of the meeting.
Dr Didi told Minivan News earlier today that the nature of the motion went against established precedents, arguing that the holding on such meetings must first be discussed with the President or Vice-President of the party.
“I will not participate in today’s meeting even though I can as a former cabinet member, because I do not believe that the cabinet is legitimate. The party constitution states that the Party President has to form the party cabinet,” he said.
Ghafoor had cited article 30, clause (f), of the MDP’s constitution which states that the National Council is able “to debate and assess the confidence of the President of the Party or the Vice President of the Party or the Chairperson or a Deputy Chairperson, if the members of the party submits a complaint disapproving their actions.”
After today’s meeting, Ghafoor claimed that he had received appeals for a change in leadership from all over the country, as well as from within the national council.
The party’s constitution now stipulates that new elections will now be held, Ghafoor said.