Majlis committee to summon police for clarification on Alhan stabbing case

Parliament’s privileges committee has decided to summon police officers next Sunday to clarify details of how the investigation into the attack on Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Alhan Fahmy is proceeding.

Speaking to Minivan News, MDP MP Imthiyaz ‘Inthi’ Fahmy, who submitted the case to the committee, described the incident as a murder attempt.

Alhan was stabbed in Malé on February 1 while at the Breakwater cafe in the artificial beach area.

“It is a concern to the whole parliament,’’ Inthi said. “It undermined the privilege of all the MPs, that’s why I sent a letter to the committee.’’

He said that a meeting was held regarding the case, and the committee had decided to ask police to send officers who could provide details of the investigation.

Inthi noted that the police were not sharing information with the public as they did during the investigation into the October 2012 murder of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) MP Dr Afrasheem Ali.

“So under the right to information we need to clarify this information,’’ he said, adding that the meeting with the police had been scheduled for 1:30pm on Sunday February 16.

Similarly, a source within Alhan’s family – speaking to Minivan News on condition of anonymity – said that police had not been cooperative thus far.

“Twelve days have passed now and we have tried many different ways to get information on the investigation,’’ he said, adding that he was sure the arrested persons were the assailants.

The Criminal Court yesterday extended the detention period to fifteen days for the two suspects arrested in the case. A third suspect was arrested, but was released soon after.

The family member said today that there was now a small movement in his leg, though doctors were unsure how long it will for him to fully recover.

During the attack, Alhan received stab wounds to the back and was quickly flown to Sri Lanka for spinal surgery.

“He still cannot sit, stand or walk and can’t talk a lot because he does not have energy,’’ said the family member. “We are still discussing sending him to Singapore and we also sent the surgery report to the doctors in Singapore where they have said it was done well and there were no issues.’’

The attack was politically motivated and well organised, stated the source, who noted that Alhan’s car had been followed three days prior to the incident.

MPs condemning the attack earlier this month suggested it may have been carried out by powerful local gangs working on the orders of political paymasters.

The source said that Alhan might not be able to be actively involved in his campaign for re-election in the Feydhoo constituency, where he intends to run as an independent after losing what he claims was an unfair party primary.

Though the MP’s family were critical of the MDP’s decision not to repeat the primary vote, local media were told this week that Alhan would continue to promote the MDP’s policy and ideology if re-elected.


MP Alhan Fahmy rejoins MDP

MP for Feydhoo Alhan Fahmy has rejoined the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), reversing his move to Gasim Ibrahim’s Jumhoree Party (JP) in June 2012.

The former MDP Vice President was removed from the MDP leadership post in a no-confidence vote supported by 95 percent of the MDP’s National Congress on April 30, 2012, after he and the party’s President Dr Ibrahim Didi were accused of making statements contradictory to the party’s official line concerning February 7’s controversial transfer of power.

Both men disputed the legitimacy of the process which led to their ousting. Dr Didi filed a complaint with the Elections Commission (EC), which was later dismissed, whilst Fahmy staged a sparsely attended ‘free MDP’ rally, protesting against what he alleged was the negative influence of former President Mohamed Nasheed on the party.

Didi and Fahmy shortly afterwards joined Gasim’s government-aligned Jumhoree Party, assuming leadership positions.

Fahmy was initially elected to parliament on a Dhivehi Rayithunge Party (DRP) ticket, making him one of the few MPs to have been a member of almost every major political party represented in parliament, barring the DRP’s splinter party, the Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM). He was dismissed from the party by its disciplinary committee for breaking the party’s whip line in a no-confidence vote against then Foreign Minister, Dr Ahmed Shaheed.

Fahmy confirmed his most recent move to Minivan News, declaring his decision was made “because the country’s future lies with the MDP”.

MDP Spokesperson MP Hamid Abdul Ghafoor, who sponsored last year’s motion to remove Alhan from the party, said the issues “have been resolved” and that the party “welcomes anybody always. We have an open invitation,” he said.

“Alhan is a good speaker and another vote in the Majlis,” he added.

Speaker of Parliament Abdulla Shahid in April moved to the MDP from the DRP, stating that he had changed his political allegiance over concerns about the direction of the country’s democratic transition.

“I believe in the democratic Maldives built in 2008; will not stand by while opportunists & extremists drag our country back,” he tweeted at the time.

The DRP subsequently signed a coalition agreement with President Mohamed Waheed’s Gaumee Ithihaad Party (GIP), joining the Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) and the Adhaalath Party (AP).

Alhan’s switch takes the MDP’s membership in parliament to 33 of the 77 member chamber, six short of the 39 majority needed to push through legislation.


Jumhoory Party MPs Jabir and Alhan to vote against President in no-confidence motion

MPs Abdulla Jabir and Alhan Fahmy of the Jumhoory Party (JP) – part of the current coalition government – today publicly announced that they will vote against President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan in an upcoming no-confidence motion.

During a press conference, held at the People’s Majlis along with opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MPs Ibrahim Rasheed and Imthiyaz Fahmy, Jabir and Alhan told local press that they did not have confidence in the current president.  The two MPs claimed they were ready to stand against him, even if the vote was to be taken tomorrow.

Jabir was among a number of MPs and senior MDP figures arrested earlier this month on suspicion of the possession of drugs and alcohol following a raid by police on the island of Hodaidhoo in Haa Dhaal Atoll.

Jabir, his wife Dhiyana Saeed – the former Minister for Gender and Human Rights under the current government – and the MDP have all alleged the arrests were politically motivated.  The charges have been vehemently denied by the President’s Office, which has told media that it had no knowledge of the operation until it had been carried out by police officers.

The arrests have nonetheless been labelled as “very worrying” by a delegation from the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), which late last week claimed it was “difficult” to believe the police raid had not been politically motivated.

Speaking at today’s press conference, MP Alhan alleged that Dr Waheed was threatening MPs because his attempts to make MPs act as his puppets had not worked. He said Waheed had also threatened MPs during public speeches he had given of late.

Local newspapers meanwhile quoted MP Jabir as saying that Dr Waheed should not be kept in his position, reiterating that he did not come to power through an election.

Jabir also revealed plans to forward a no-confidence motion against Home Minister Dr Ahmed Jameel and said that he had already signed the motion.

Earlier in October MDP, filed a no-confidence motion against Home Minister but was withdrawn on November 12 without mentioning a clear reason.

At the same time, a no-confidence motion against Dr Waheed was also submitted to the parliament.

The MDP claimed that the no-confidence motion was submitted to the parliament in response to what it alleged were orders from President Waheed to attack citizens and MDP MPs, and to carry out acts of “inhumanity” on February 8.

The MDP also accused President Waheed of trying to “destroy” the sensitive economy of the nation, claiming that his handling of the economy had destroyed foreign investor confidence in the Maldives.

The motion was filed with the signatures of 26 MPs of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) on October 10.

According to article 100 (e) of the constitution, a no confidence vote against the President can be passed with votes from two-thirds of the total numbers of MPs in parliament, which amounts to 52 votes.


MDP vows to pressure Supreme Court if it fails to investigate Abdulla Mohamed

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Vice President and MP Alhan Fahmy met on Sunday with Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Ahmed Faiz, presenting two cases against Chief Judge of the Criminal Court Abdulla Mohamed and demanding the cases be concluded in 48 hours.

Before going to the meeting Alhan met with the press and said that he will present two cases relating to Abdulla Mohamed: one regarding the Civil Court’s ordering the judicial watchdog – the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) – to delay taking action in a judicial misconduct case against the chief judge, and a second regarding the High Court’s ruling that he did not have to obey police summons on January 16.

The latter ruling led to police requesting the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) assist in the arrest of Abdulla Mohamed, and his subsequent detention on the MNDF training facility of Girifushi where he remains.

Alhan told press outside the Supreme Court after meeting with the chief justice that the MDP would put pressure on the Supreme Court if it did not conduct the cases.

He then told a group of MDP supporters waiting for him outside that if the Supreme Court did not conclude the case in 48 hours, the MDP would “raise its voice”.

The whereabouts of Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed following his arrest were not revealed until January 18. The MNDF has acknowledged receipt but not replied to Supreme Court orders to release the judge.

Prosecutor General (PG) Ahmed Muizz has joined the High and Supreme Courts in condemning the MNDF’s role in the arrest as unlawful, and requesting that the judge be released.

According to the PG, police have to go through the PG’s Office to obtain an arrest warrant from the High Court.

According to government officials, military assistance was sought for reasons of national security. Judge Mohamed has been implicated in 14 cases of obstruction of police duty, Afeef alleged.

Actions include ordering unlawful investigations, withholding warrants for up to four days, limiting the issuance of warrants to himself exclusively at times, disregarding decisions of higher courts, strategically delaying cases involving opposition members, and barring media from corruption trials, according to Afeef.

Defence Minister Tholhath Ibrahim Kaleyfan has said police had sent a letter to the armed forces on Monday, January 16, “requesting assistance to carry out its legal duty under article 71 of the Police Act, stating that the Criminal Court was not cooperating with police and that as a consequence of Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed obstructing police work, the country’s internal security was threatened and police were unable to maintain public order and safety.”


MDP National Council appoints ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik as acting chairperson

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has appointed the party’s Parliamentary Group leader MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik as the party’s acting chairperson for a year, replacing Mariya Ahhmed Didi.

Mariya had previously resigned from the role in anticipation of being appointed Parliament’s representative on the Judicial Services Commission (JSC), however she was last week beaten to the post by Jumhoree Party (JP) leader and local business tycoon, Gasim Ibrahim.

The MDP said that 97 out of 99 council members present voted in favor of appointing Moosa as the acting chairperson, during the party’s 91st national council meeting held at Bandos Island Resort.

The council meeting started yesterday and was initially chaired by the party’s newly-elected Deputy Leader and MP Alhan Fahmy, until the decision to appoint Moosa as the acting Chairperson was made.

Following the decision of the national council, Moosa announced his resignation from his position as the leader of the parliamentary group.

The MDP council discussed the payment of a salary for the party’s deputy chairperson, but resolved not to pay any person at an elected post.

Full details of the national council meeting were not provided and no media outlet was invited to attend the meeting.

Deputy Leader of MDP and MP Alhan Fahmy told Minivan News that the national council meeting “concluded successfully”.

‘’All went accordingly to the party’s charter and rules,’’ Alhan said. ‘’There are no internal issues within the party or the leadership regarding any decisions made.’’

Local media have reported that MDP leader, former fisheries minister Dr Ibrahim Didi, was unhappy with the decision made by the national council to appoint Moosa as the acting Chairperson for one year.

Online newspaper Sun Online reported Didi as claiming that the decision violated the party’s charter and regulations and that he would seek legal advice to clarify whether it was possible.

Alhan however said that he has no information about the remarks made by Dr Didi, and MDP Parliamentary Group’s Media Coordinator MP Mohamed Shifaz did not respond to Minivan News.

President Mohamed Nasheed also attended the national council meeting.


New MDP President summons political appointees “to make government accountable”

Newly-elected Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) President and former Fisheries Minister Dr Ibrahim Didi has said that he will summon political figures in the current government and question them regarding the fulfilling of the pledges made by the party.

“Those in political positions received those positions from the party. I am legally obliged, and it is also my responsibility, to query them,’’ Dr Didi said, speaking to the people of Thoddu in North Ari Atoll. The island is the constituency of opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) Deputy Leader, MP Ali Waheed.

Dr Didi said he will summon senior officials from the Works Corporation to determine whether solutions for Thoddu’s sewerage system of Thoddu had been found, and also said he would summon officials from the Education Ministry to discuss the challenges to improving the education system in Thoddu.

New Deputy Leader of MDP and MP Alhan Fahmy, MP Ilyas Labeeb, MDP Thoddu branch president Hassan Shiyan and Thoddu Council member Ali Naseer spoke at the rally held in Thoddu.

Speaking at the rally, Alhan criticised the oppositio, saying that the biggest challenge for today was that there is no responsible opposition party in the Maldives.

‘’The future of this nation lies in the hands of youths. Ali Waheed is also a person who needs political progression. He can make progress in politics by joining MDP,’’ said Alhan, urging Ali Waheed to join MDP.

Rumors are currently circulating in the Maldivian press that Waheed has already joined the MDP, and that the party was planning to hold a special ceremony to celebrate it, however Waheed was unavailable for comment at time of press.

MDP Secretary General Ahmed Shah said he had no information that Waheed had joined MDP.

”Lately everyone on the MDP podium has been calling on Waheed to join the MDP,” said Shah. ”It may happen – I think that is the reason why everyone is speaking about it and rumors are being spread.”


MDP announces preliminary election results

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has announced the preliminary results of its elections held to appoint the President, Deputy President and other special posts of the party, after vote counting was formally completed.

Former Fisheries Minister Dr Ibrahim Didi successfully challenged acting President of the party Ibrahim Hussein Zaki and won the top post of the party, with 10600 votes against Zaki’s 9519 votes.

Current Environment Minister Mohamed Aslam, former Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Alhan Fahmy and Hussein Adam ran for the Vice President’s post.

Alhan won the post by 12225 votes while Environment Minister Aslam won 7230 votes and Adam 158 votes. Both Zaki and Aslam have conceded victory to Didi and Alhan.

Shiyama Adam was elected as the leader of Women’s Wing and Khadheeja Abubakur ‘Aniyath’ was elected as the deputy leader of the Woman’s Wing.

Five members for the MDP Religious Council were also appointed in the election: Mohamed Farooq, Ibrahim Shafeeu, Ahmed Zanin Adam, Ahmed Zaki and Hussein Ibrahim. The former leader of the Religious Council resigned after claiming that he was unhappy with the party’s religious policies.

Nine members for the Appeals Committee were also appointed:  Mohamed Mahir Easa, Hassan Ahmed, Ibrahim Rasheed, Ahmed Siraj, Abdul Hameed Abdul Kareem, Mohamed Falah, Imtiyaz Fahmy, Ahmed Rasheed and Nazil Afeef.

Former Minivan News journalist Aiminath Shauna, now working in the President’s Office, was elected as the head of Youth Wing and Hamza Hassan was elected as the deputy head. Shauna won the post challenging Lufshan Shakeeb ‘Looppe’, a well-known local actor.


Alhan wins MDP Vice Presidency while Dr Ibrahim Didi in line for top post

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has announced the preliminary results of the party’s elections for its President and Vice President.

The results currently show that former Fisheries Minister Dr Ibrahim Didi has won the presidency of the party with 6909 votes, in close competition with the President’s Special Envoy Ibrahim Zak (6554 votes).

Meanwhile former Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party MP Alhan Fahmy has beaten Hussein Adam and Environment Minister Mohamed Aslam for the MDP Vice-Presidency with 7709 votes. Aslam received 5421 votes while Adam received 71 votes.

Fahmy changed sides to the ruling party in early 2010 after he was brought before the DRP’s disciplinary committee for voting against its party line on a motion to dismiss then-Foreign Minister Dr Ahmed Shaheed for opening relations with Israel.

Housing Minister Aslam has congratulated Alhan for his victory, following the release of the preliminary results. 121 ballot boxes of 218 have been counted so far, with official results to be announced in three days.

Aslam has also congratulated MDP Chairperson Mariya Ahmed Didi on running a successful election.

Alhan did not respond to Minivan News at time of press.


Debate between contenders for the MDP’s top post canceled

A debate due to be televised between candidates running for the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s top post has been cancelled, along with a debate between candidates for the vice-presidency.

MDP’s official website said the debate was cancelled after former Fisheries Minister Dr Ibrahim Didi, a candidate running for MDP presidency, decided to boycott the debate citing “concerning issues”.

Dr Didi sent a letter to the Chairperson of MDP and MP Mariya Ahmed Didi saying that he would not participate in the debate as he was experiencing “issues” related to the debate, according to the MDP Official website.

Debate between candidates for the vice-presidency was also cancelled after MP Alhan Fahmy decided to boycott the event, alleging undue influence.

The debate was canceled after Alhan also sent a letter to Chairperson Mariya Didi raising “issues” with the advertised debate.

Alhan wrote that he did not wish to publicly reveal his objections to the debate as disunity or discord within the party was not his intention, adding that he did not want members to lose confidence in a cabinet minister.

Last night, speaking to the media, Alhan said that he was unsure whether his opponent was unaware of the questions that might be asked during the debate, in which case he said his opponent would be sure to win.

Both Alhan and Dr Didi have not yet revealed the details of the issues concerning the debate.