The Civil Court has ruled against the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) in a procedural issue raised in the lawsuit seeking the invalidation of the Feydhoo constituency primary.
During the hearing, the MDP’s lawyer had told the court that the complainant – second-placed candidate Alhan Fahmy – had not completed all procedures within the party to solve the issue, and that he could not therefore file a lawsuit.
However, the Civil Court today ruled that halting the case would deprive Alhan of the right to a fair trial as guaranteed in Article 42 of the constitution.
After losing the contest for Majlis elections to Mohamed Nihad, Alhan claimed that the list used on polling day was different from the [eligible] voter lists, and that any candidate who won the party ticket through a fraudulent vote could not be a valid one.
Alhan called for a fresh vote in the constituency, claiming the voter list used at polling stations was outdated and did not afford 67 party members the right to vote.
The election committee confirmed that 67 members were indeed missing from the list at the ballot box, but decided against holding a re-vote, arguing that the primary outcome would not change even if these members were allowed to vote.
Online newspaper CNM today quoted MDP Chairperson and MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik as saying that the MDP will not change any of the party’s candidates and that it would not be wise to give the party ticket to a different candidate while there were only 18 days before the parliamentary election.
He also told the paper that the MDP had received complaints regarding people campaigning in contravention of party policies, and that cases have been filed with the party’s disciplinary committee to take action against those persons.
Moosa said that he, as the chairperson of the party, appealed to all party members not to do anything that would cause divisions within the party and that he would not give anyone the chance to do so.
Stabbing and party history
On February 1 – the same day Alhan announced that he would file a case with the court to cancel the primary – he was stabbed while at Breakwater cafe in the artificial beach area of Malé.
Following the attack Alhan’s left leg was paralysed though he has since regained the ability to walk, with the aid of a crutch.
Alhan has had a chequered recent past with the MDP, rejoining the party in June last year after an apparently acrimonious departure in April of the previous year. Then party vice president, Alhan was ejected – alongside then party President Dr Ibrahim Didi – after the pair publicly questioned the party’s official interpretation of the February 7 ousting of President Mohamed Nasheed.
The Feydhoo MP subsequently organised a rally – sparsely attended – calling for the freeing of the MDP from its talismanic leader Nasheed. Alhan’s soon joined the government-aligned Jumhooree Party,
Alhan 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 DRP in 2010 for breaking the party’s whip line in a no-confidence vote against then Foreign Minister, Dr Ahmed Shaheed
Last August, Alhan was summoned by police in connection with the alleged blackmailing of Supreme Court Justice Ali Hameed, using footage of the judge having sex with two foreign women said to be prostitutes.
The MP tweeted a screenshot of a text message he claimed had been sent to his mobile phone by Superintendent of Police Mohamed Riyaz. The text read: “Alhan, will make sure you are fully famed (sic) for blackmailing Justice Ali Hameed. You don’t know who we are.’’
Alhan is now contesting in the parliament election as an independent candidate.