Umar Naseer, who lost the presidential primaries of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) to Abdulla Yameen, has submitted a case to the Civil Court seeking a ruling that he was dismissed from the party against the party’s regulations.
Ahmed ‘Maaz’ Saleem, a PPM member who served as Naseer’s campaign manager, stated that the case also concerned irregularities in the primaries. He reportedly told local media that they did not believe that Naseer’s allegations the primaries were rigged were enough ground for him to be dismissed from a political party in a modern democratic system.
Saleem further claimed that Naseer’s dismissal breached the fundamental regulations of the party itself.
“It’s against democratic principles to dismiss every person who expresses a dissenting view on party matters,” Saleem said.
Saleem went on to criticise other internal issues of PPM, stating that even the party’s Disciplinary Committee consisted of members who remained “under the control of” PPM’s presidential candidate Yameen.
Saleem further stated that a large number of PPM members are still supporting Naseer, and that they would back his claims that the primaries had been rigged through ballot-stuffing, falsifying vote counts and other such actions.
Saleem said that problems had risen in PPM after “a group of corrupt people from some organisation called the PA which does not even have 3000 members” joined the party.
The PA (People’s Alliance) was headed by Abdulla Yameen until the Dhiivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) split and formed the PPM. Yameen then joined PPM, leaving PA to be headed by Deputy Speaker of Parliament Ahmed Nazim.
Unfair disciplinary action
Naseer’s close political ally Saleem added that the party had failed to take action against MPs Shifaq Mufeed and Ali Arif, who had strongly criticised the current government and President Mohamed Waheed Hassan in parliament, despite the party’s council having ruled it would not publicly criticise the government as they were part of its coalition.
“President Maumoon himself expressed concern about this action of the MPs,” Saleem was quoted as saying in local media.
“The decision to not criticise this government was made in a council meeting chaired by President Maumoon himself. And then these MPs acted against this decision right in front of MP Abdul Azeez Jamaal (Chair of PPM’s Disciplinary Committee). And even then, the committee did not even look into the matter. Tell me then, where is the justice in them taking action against Umar Naseer?”
Cases against PPM primaries
Saleem further said that “it is not a sensible line of action” to dismiss Naseer for alleging the primaries had been rigged, while there is an ongoing case in the Civil Court submitted by a general member of PPM regarding vote rigging in the primaries.
Earlier this month, member of PPM Rahma Moosa has lodged a case in the Civil Court challenging the results of the party’s presidential primary.
The case was filed claiming that 8,915 people who were not officially registered as members of PPM had been allowed to vote in the primary.
Moosa alleged that the move breached the Political Party Act and compromised the rights of all general members of the party.
PPM Spokesperson Ahmed Mahloof’s phone was switched off at the time of press.
Umar Naseer was not responding to calls. Earlier this month his secretary stated that, as a rule, he would not conduct interviews with Minivan News.