Reeko Moosa condemns MDP expulsion as a move to bar his 2018 presidential candidacy

Deputy Speaker of the Majlis MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik has condemned his expulsion from the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), describing the move as a plot by former President Mohamed Nasheed to bar him from contesting the party’s 2018 presidential primaries.

“I am certain the expulsion was to bar me from contesting the presidential primaries. President Nasheed must accept there are other political leaders within the party,” Moosa told Minivan News today.

Moosa, a founding member of the MDP and a vocal critic of the 30-year authoritarian ruler Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, announced his intent to contest MDP’s 2018 presidential primaries on October 25.

The MDP’s disciplinary committee expelled Moosa on Monday after he repeatedly breached the party’s three-line whips including the vote on the 2015 state budget, the amendments to the Judicature Act – which reduced the seven-member Supreme Court bench to five judges, and the removal of former Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz and former Justice Muthasim Adnan.

If Moosa wishes to rejoin the party, he is required to issue a public apology and obtain 50 new members for the party, but he will be barred from standing for any leadership position or contesting in party primaries for five years.

He described the disciplinary committee’s decision as “undemocratic” and “discriminatory” pointing out that five MDP MPs who were absent from the vote to dismiss the Supreme Court judges were given lesser penalties.

Moosa said he does not trust the party’s appeal process, and said he has now requested the Elections Commission to review the decision.

He also dismissed local media reports which had suggested he may join the ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM): “I will not sign onto another party. I am not one who can be part of another party. Where will I go other than the MDP? There is no second ideology that can fight against the dictatorship.”


Moosa, a prominent figure in the Maldives’ pro-democracy movement, said a faction within the MDP has continued to harass him on social media since he announced his intent to contest the presidential primaries.

“I did not think they would expel me. I did not think [the party] would treat me so badly. I’ve served MDP with sincerity. On February 8, I was severely brutalised while acting as a bodyguard to Nasheed,” he said.

Moosa had to be flown to Sri Lanka for medical treatment for injuries sustained during a brutal police crackdown on MDP supporters a day after Nasheed’s ouster on February 7, 2012.

He described Nasheed as dictatorial, claiming the former president had systematically sidelined rivals within the party including Dr Mohamed Munawar, Dr Ibrahim Didi, and former MP Alhan Fahmy.

“Nasheed is a green dictator, championing the environment to get attention on the international front, but look at what he has done to Dr Munawaar, Dr Didi and Alhan Fahmy. He wants to keep the MDP under his control,” he said.

On Monday, a group of ten Moosa supporters staged a protest outside Nasheed’s residence, Kenereege, calling the MP’s expulsion “unfair”.

Moosa suggested Nasheed was behind the rumour that he may join PPM the next day.

“There are a lot of members who support me within the MDP. The rumour that I would join the PPM on the next day at a ceremony at Nasandhura Palace Hotel at noon, at a time when I was out of country, was engineered to make my supporters believe I would leave the MDP and thereby dissipate their criticism of the party’s decision,” he said.

The news was first reported in pro-government newspaper Vaguthu and later on opposition-aligned Raajje TV.


Explaining his decision not to participate in the vote to dismiss Faiz and Muthasim, Moosa said the former chief justice had caused enormous harm to the MDP.

On Nasheed’s resignation on February 7, Faiz had sworn in then Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed “without raising a single question on whether Nasheed was coerced,” Moosa said.

During Faiz’s tenure, the Supreme Court bench had stripped three MDP MPs of their membership and annulled the first round of presidential elections held in September 2013, he continued.

The Supreme Court’s removal of former Elections Commission President Fuwad Thowfeek and Vice President Ahmed Fayaz in March was a deliberate attempt to “damage MDP’s chances in parliamentary polls,” Moosa said.

“But that day [December 14], MDP came out to defend Faiz. I did not participate in the vote because I do not support Faiz. I do support Muthasim, but their names were put up together for a single vote. I did not want to remove Muthasim,” he explained.

He also criticised the party’s three-line whip calling on MPs to be present at the sitting, claiming a whip can only be issued on the vote itself, not on MPs presence at the Majlis.

He contended the MDP had failed to take action against MPs Eva Abdulla, Abdulla Shahid, and Rozaina Adam for their absence from the vote on the Special Economic Zone bill. Eva and Shahid had been in Geneva for a meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union at the time.

Moosa also condemned Minivan News’ inclusion of a Raajje TV report on his company Heavy Load Pvt Ltd receiving islands for resort development in compensation for a terminated reclamation deal in its previous report on his expulsion from MDP.

He did confirm that Heavy Load Pvt Ltd has received islands, but said the deal was a transaction between the company and the government after the company threatened to file charges at the court for the termination.

The MDP has said the sudden removal of the two Supreme Court Judges is an attempt to stack the judiciary in President Abdulla Yameen’s favour.

Commonwealth groups have described the judges’ removal as unconstitutional, saying it constituted a clear breach of the Commonwealth Principles to which the government of Maldives has subscribed.

“As a result the independence of the judiciary and the Rule of Law have been “severely jeopardised”.

The International Commission of Jurists said the Maldivian parliament and executive “have effectively decapitated the country’s judiciary and trampled on the fundamental principles of the rule of law and separation of powers in a democratic State.”

Related to this story

MDP expels MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik

MDP calls on six MPs absent from Supreme Court vote to answer disciplinary charges

Reeko Moosa unveils plans to contest 2018 presidential primary

Abdulla Saeed appointed as new Chief Justice, dismissed Justice Faiz laments “black day”


11 thoughts on “Reeko Moosa condemns MDP expulsion as a move to bar his 2018 presidential candidacy”

  1. Why would expelling him from MDP bar him from becoming a Presidential Candidate? He is free to do that, as in the constitution. I am sure his supporters (if any) will vote for him, even if he is MDP, PPM or independent.

  2. It is very blindly obvious that Reeko Moosa is working for this current government to stir up tensions and discord within MDP ranks in a preplanned run up to the elections.

    Gasim will soon bite the bug with the new legislation that disallows citizens over 65 to contest in presidential elections. With Gasim out the only anomaly for Yamin and PPM is Nasheed.

    The next move will be to reopen the case of Ablo Gazee in court and sentence Nasheed to ban him from contesting in 2018. Moosa will capitalise on this opportunity and attempt to further create tensions at the top ranks, and find a way to contest in the primary. Even if he does not win a ticket in the primaries, he will attempt to break and disrupt the party as it searches for a suitable candidate in the wake of Nasheed's sentencing. Weakening MDPs position further as it approaches the 2018 election.

    What the public do not know is at what price Moosa has made this backstabbing deal. We hear of him being awarded a resort.

    But as a matter of fact, it is 3 resorts in Laamu Atoll and a cash compensation of Mfr 15 million as payment towards the work he did at Thilafushi reclamation.

    2 islands awarded to Moosa will be immediately sold to Gulf Craft Hamid, relative of Tourism Minister Adheeb at zero cost. Moosa will retain one island in Laamu with complete rights to develop a resort.

    When you look at it from Moosa's perspective, it is a good deal for him personally. He has done his work for MDP, and he did not get anything in return financially except a legacy of debts, failed projects and business dealings. So, perhaps this is his retirement plan and time to cash in before he exits the scene.

    Good on you Moosa! Survival over Sacrifice.

  3. In this country, if one want to become a president , he must come through a party . Independent candidates have place to contest here.

    Nasheed will never allow any leader to come out from MDP and he will bar anyone from contesting against him.

    Nasheed is a dictator

  4. @Ahmed Mohamed on Thu, 25th Dec 2014 9:04 AM


    Though, you made him look like the exception. In fact his hypocrisy are the norm here in Seykustan.

  5. @ Ahmed Mohamed

    Regradless of it is survival over sacrifice on the part of Reeko, you must agree that any challanger to Nasheed tends to get expelled. And the list is long. Dr. Munawar, Ibra, Dr. Waheed, Qasim

    The Maldives citizens wish to see a primary within MDP. Surely, thats not a big ask from a party that has 'DEMOCRACY' in its middle name.

  6. Surprised to hear reeko moosa want become president what is his educational qualification moosa and all of his family's members education level not more than grade 5 standards.actually government of Maldives should ban uneducated like them to stand any elections.Mr president yameen pl make law to ban this types of uneducated person to stand any type of elections people like uneducated moosa cannot do anything good for the nation

  7. I am sorry to say that Moosa's behaviour does not look very intelligent.

    But he is not alone in this kind of behaviour.

    Do Maldivian politicians like Moosa know what it is to belong to a political party and to work as a politician and a leader in a democracy?

    I think they don't.

    And because they don't, I believe that Maldives is not yet ready for parliamentary democracy.

    Shame on you Reeko Moosa.


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