The disciplinary committee of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) has decided to expel Galolhu South MP Ahmed Mahloof for allegedly bringing President Abdulla Yameen into disrepute with false statements in the media.
Ali Waheed, the committee’s vice chairman, told the press yesterday that Mahloof did not deny making the statements in question on opposition-aligned Raajje TV when he was summoned to answer the charges.
“The committee decided that this action was absolutely necessary,” Waheed said, adding that the decision to dismiss the MP was reached unanimously by the three members who participated in deliberations.
The PPM council member was accused of making statements that could cause loss of public confidence in President Yameen as well as misleading the public concerning the arrest of former Defence Minister Colonel (Retired) Mohamed Nazim.
Speaking to Minivan News after attending the disciplinary committee meeting, Mahloof said he told the committee he had “no problem with President Maumoon [Abdul Gayoom]”.
“I did not say anything against [Gayoom] on Raajje TV,” he insisted.
“I told them that I spoke about President’s Yameen because of how the government is being run. My intention is not to defame or damage anyone but to put things on the right track.
“I was removed from the party just like how the Auditor General and Supreme Court Justices were removed. In haste and without giving due process”
Asked whether he would challenge the committee’s decision at the party’s appeals committee, Mahloof said the committee’s decision to dismiss him instead of issuing a warning or imposing a fine suggested the move was planned in advance.
“I know this was very much planned, I do not believe the party’s appeal committee will properly look into the matter,” he said.
“I do not trust the party’s internal mechanisms to deliver justice, therefore I shall not pursue the matter within the party.”
Asked whether he would join another party, Mahloof revealed that he had been in contact with both former President Mohamed Nasheed and Jumhooree Party (JP) Leader Gasim Ibrahim, “but no arrangements have been made so far.”
“I need some time to think this through. I will decide on whether I should join a party or not after some contemplation and consultation with my constituents,” he added.
“So far, the reaction from my constituents have been positive and supportive. They understand that I am standing up for justice and principles. This is not the end to my political career, I will always serve the people and no one can put a halt to my political career.”
In his Raajje TV appearance on Sunday night, Mahloof said President Yameen was misusing the PPM’s parliamentary majority and called for the immediate release of former President Mohamed Nasheed and former Defence Minister Nazim.
Mahloof alleged that police “framed” Nazim by planting a pistol and bullets in his apartments as a pretext for his arrest.
Nazim’s treatment by President Yameen’s administration was “a thousand times worse” than former President Nasheed’s arrest of Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed during his tenure, he said.
Mahloof also criticised the PPM’s decision to sever its coalition agreement with the JP after Gasim Ibrahim stood for the post of Majlis speaker, adding that he had supported Gasim’s candidacy as maintaining the coalition would have preempted the present crisis.
Declaring his loyalty to Gayoom and vowing never to speak ill of the PPM leader, Mahloof claimed the former president was “not in the picture” and was not involved in the government’s decision-making process, adding that Gayoom was unhappy with the current administration’s direction.
However, the PPM put out a press release the following day denying any rift between PPM Leader Gayoom and his half-brother President Yameen.
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