PPM to decide whether to discipline Umar Naseer for allegations of corruption in party primary

The Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM)’s disciplinary committee has accepted a case forwarded to the committee by the party council against PPM Deputy Leader Umar Naseer, after he refused to publicly apologise for the claiming the party’s recent primaries were rigged in favour of PPM Presidential Candidate Abdulla Yameen.

Head of the PPM Disciplinary Committee, MP Abdul Azeez Jamal Abubakur, said the deadline for Umar Naseer’s apology expired on Sunday at 10:00am.

Abdul Azeez told local newspapers that within two days the committee will conclude its investigation of the case, in which “Umar Naseer violated the party charter and made huge accusations.”

He also said the committee will refer to the party’s charter when deciding on what action to take against Naseer.

After losing the PPM Primary, Umar Naseer held a rally and declared that despite admitting defeat, the party’s internal election had involved discrepancies including the influencing of voters, vote buying and intimidation of his supporters.  He also alleged that many of his supporters were denied the right to vote, claiming that their names had not been on the lists.

“Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s children were with Yameen, the largest gangsters in the country were with Yameen, all the drug cartels in the country were with Yameen, the most corrupted people were with Yameen, the whole elections committee was with Yameen and a large chunk of PPM’s parliament members gathered around Yameen.

“We came out knowing that the referee, the linesman and even the match commissioner along with his 11 players were playing on his side. Our team had the poor and the middle class players,” Naseer said at the rally.

“We even witnessed that those who are heavily involved in drug trafficking were present at the polling station wearing Yameen’s campaign caps,” he said. “Not only did they exert undue influence, they travelled to islands with stashes of black money and attempted to turn the votes. In fact they even did turn some votes.”

In September 2010, Umar Naseer was the Deputy Leader of Dhivehi Rayyiithunge Party (DRP), the DRP Council in a meeting decided to file a case against Umar at the Disciplinary Committee for forging a press release and for causing division in the party.

Later in December 2010, Umar Naseer was dismissed from the party – an incident that eventually led to a splintering of the DRP into a new party under Gayoom, the PPM.

Umar Naseer’s mobile phone was switched off at time of press.


DRP Deputy Leader “disappointed” in party, considers resignation

Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) Deputy Leader Ilham Ahmed may resign from his post, reports Haveeru.

MP Ilham Ahmed, of Gemanfushi, is allegedly disappointed with some of the DRP’s internal matters. Ilham told Haveeru that party leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali appeared to be too close with the government, and said tax reform was one area of concern.

Ilham said he would decide whether to resign in the next 2-3 days.

Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who Ilham allegedly supports, has given the same deadline for his announcement of a new political party.


Adhaalath Party to hold elections to appoint leader and deputy leader

The Adhaalath Party has announced plans to hold its leadership elections on May 27, to elect its new Leader and Deputy leader. Currently only one candidate is running for each post.

Vying for the party’s Presidency is Sheikh Imran Abdulla, from Kolhufushi on Meemu Atoll, after incumbent Sheikh Hussein Rasheed did not put his name forward. The only candidate running for the position of Deputy leader is Dr Mauroof Hussein, a well-know religious scholar in the country.

Sheikh Rasheed confirmed he was not running for the party’s leadership, but said he did not have any particular reason.

The party said that any island with more than 15 members in the party is allowed to hold elections on that island.

”Time for voting is morning 8:30am-11am and afternoon 2:00-6:00pm,” said the party on its official website.

The Party also said that the two candidates appointed in the elections will hold the position for the next five years.

Current Leader of Adhaalath Party Shiekh Hussein Rasheed, who is also the State Islamic Minister, did not respond to Minivan News.

The Adhaalath Party – the third largest in the Maldives – is the sole remaining party in coalition with the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), and members of the party fill senior posts at the Islamic Ministry. Dr Abdul Majeed Abdul Bari, the current Minister for Islamic Affairs, is also a member of the Adhaalath Party.

The ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) also held party elections and appointed a new leader and deputy leader of the Party.


Police summon second DRP deputy leader for questioning

Police have summoned the Dhivehi Rayyihtunge Party’s (DRP) deputy leader MP Ali Waheed for questioning about his involvement in the protest outside the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) base and president’s residence on 28 January.

Umar Naseer, another deputy leader of the DRP, was summoned for questioning yesterday about his involvement in the protest.

Waheed notified the media he had been summoned shortly before 3pm, and said he would “face the press” afterwards.

He said he had remained silent during questions about his involvement, and about the comments he made to the media about police cooperating with the protesters.

When the police asked him whether he would like to investigate the incident in which he was hit by a stone during the protest, he replied ”no”.

After the questioning concluded Waheed said he had reported three cases to the police and asked them to investigate.

”The first thing I reported was that during the protest a person from the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) – ranked higher than sergeant – used abusive language [against the protesters],” he said.

”Secondly, why that night when MPs asked for police protection were they ignored?”

Thirdly, Waheed said he asked police to investigate an MDP MP who allegedly demanded police stop handcuffing a protester outside parliament during a protest over the decentralisation bill.

Waheed added that it was “really dangerous” for armed police to use abusive language and “threaten people.” He did not mention what was said.

Press Secretary for the President Mohamed Zuhair said the government did not believe that the MNDF used abusive language while controlling the protest.

”That was really a dangerous protest by DRP,” he added.

He said it was all right for Waheed to remain silent, but said that ”the police begin such a questioning session of an investigation only after they have collected evidence and proof.”

”As the police is investigating the case we better not comment,” he added.

Spokesperson for Maldivian Democratic Part MDP Ahmed Haleem said also did not believe the MNDF had used abusive language, and furthermore claimed that when MPs asked for police protection the police provided it.

”I was watching the protest very closely,” he said.

Sub Inspector of police Ahmed Shiyam said police were not commenting on whether they would investigate the three cases reported by Ali Waheed.

In a statement police issued on 2 February police said they would launch an investigation of the demonstration outside MDNF and the president’s residence.