The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has suspended MPs Zahir Adam and Abdulla Abdul Raheem’s from the party until the end of the parliamentary elections, scheduled for March.
The party’s disciplinary committee decided to suspend the two MPs for contravening a three-whip line on December 30 and voting for President Abdulla Yameen’s cabinet.
Zahir and Abdul Raheem have been ordered to apologise to the party membership before January 30, and will not be allowed to contest any internal party elections – including primaries – for the next three years.
The two MPs did not stand in the MDP’s ongoing parliamentary primaries.
Chair of the disciplinary committee and MP Hamid Abdul Ghafoor said Zahir and Abdul Raheem’s membership had been suspended to ensure the two MPs do not contest March’s parliamentary elections as independents while retaining MDP membership.
Speaking to Sun Online, Zahir said he did not accept the MDP’s disciplinary actions.
“I won this seat as an independent. I do not think there is any action that can be taken against me for any decision I make while in this seat,” he said.
In addition to Zahir and Abdul Raheem, MPs Mohamed Rasheed (Matrix Mode), Ahmed Rasheed, Abdulla Jabir, Ali Riza, and Ahmed Easa voted against the party’s whip line on December 30.
Mohamed Rasheed and Ahmed Rasheed have left the party and joined the Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) and Jumhooree Party (JP) respectively. If the two MPs intend to join MDP again, they must apologise to the party’s membership and 50 members each.
Jabir, Riza, and Easa stood uncontested for reselection, and had already been placed on the party ticket when they voted against the whip.
The MDP has stripped Jabir of his position as deputy leader of the parliamentary group, ordered him to issue an apology by January 30, and decided to hold a referendum in his Kaashidhoo constituency to determine whether the MDP membership approve of granting Jabir the party ticket.
Speaking to local media, Jabir has said he will stand for the referendum and said he had informed the party of his decision to vote for Yameen’s cabinet.
“The MDP had officially accepted the government. [We have to] keep the national interest in mind. I will not leave MDP. I will stay with the party,” he told Haveeru.
Riza has been reprimanded and asked to issue an apology by January 30.
Meanwhile, the party has decided not to take any action against Easa, stating that his actions on December 30 only constituted a first offense.