PPM disciplinary committee decides to expel MP Mahloof

The disciplinary committee of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) has decided to expel Galolhu South MP Ahmed Mahloof for allegedly bringing President Abdulla Yameen into disrepute with false statements in the media.

Ali Waheed, the committee’s vice chairman, told the press yesterday that Mahloof did not deny making the statements in question on opposition-aligned Raajje TV when he was summoned to answer the charges.

“The committee decided that this action was absolutely necessary,” Waheed said, adding that the decision to dismiss the MP was reached unanimously by the three members who participated in deliberations.

The PPM council member was accused of making statements that could cause loss of public confidence in President Yameen as well as misleading the public concerning the arrest of former Defence Minister Colonel (Retired) Mohamed Nazim.

Speaking to Minivan News after attending the disciplinary committee meeting, Mahloof said he told the committee he had “no problem with President Maumoon [Abdul Gayoom]”.

“I did not say anything against [Gayoom] on Raajje TV,” he insisted.

“I told them that I spoke about President’s Yameen because of how the government is being run. My intention is not to defame or damage anyone but to put things on the right track.

“I was removed from the party just like how the Auditor General and Supreme Court Justices were removed. In haste and without giving due process”

Asked whether he would challenge the committee’s decision at the party’s appeals committee, Mahloof said the committee’s decision to dismiss him instead of issuing a warning or imposing a fine suggested the move was planned in advance.

“I know this was very much planned, I do not believe the party’s appeal committee will properly look into the matter,” he said.

“I do not trust the party’s internal mechanisms to deliver justice, therefore I shall not pursue the matter within the party.”

Asked whether he would join another party, Mahloof revealed that he had been in contact with both former President Mohamed Nasheed and Jumhooree Party (JP) Leader Gasim Ibrahim, “but no arrangements have been made so far.”

“I need some time to think this through. I will decide on whether I should join a party or not after some contemplation and consultation with my constituents,” he added.

“So far, the reaction from my constituents have been positive and supportive. They understand that I am standing up for justice and principles. This is not the end to my political career, I will always serve the people and no one can put a halt to my political career.”

In his Raajje TV appearance on Sunday night, Mahloof said President Yameen was misusing the PPM’s parliamentary majority and called for the immediate release of former President Mohamed Nasheed and former Defence Minister Nazim.

Mahloof alleged that police “framed” Nazim by planting a pistol and bullets in his apartments as a pretext for his arrest.

Nazim’s treatment by President Yameen’s administration was “a thousand times worse” than former President Nasheed’s arrest of Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed during his tenure, he said.

Mahloof also criticised the PPM’s decision to sever its coalition agreement with the JP after Gasim Ibrahim stood for the post of Majlis speaker, adding that he had supported Gasim’s candidacy as maintaining the coalition would have preempted the present crisis.

Declaring his loyalty to Gayoom and vowing never to speak ill of the PPM leader, Mahloof claimed the former president was “not in the picture” and was not involved in the government’s decision-making process, adding that Gayoom was unhappy with the current administration’s direction.

However, the PPM put out a press release the following day denying any rift between PPM Leader Gayoom and his half-brother President Yameen.

Related to this story

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MDP expels MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik

The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) disciplinary committee has today expelled MP and Deputy Speaker of parliament ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik for breaching the party parliamentary group’s three-line whip in three Majlis votes.

The MDP’s National Executive Council last week asked the committee to penalise Moosa within seven days along with five others after their absence from a Majlis vote to dismiss former Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz and Justice Muthasim Adnan.

Others absent from the vote were Vaikaradhoo MP Mohamed Nazim, Velidhoo MP Abdulla Yamin Rasheed, Mulaku MP Ibrahim Naseer, Felidhoo MP Ahmed Marzooq, and Kurendhoo MP Abdul Bari Abdulla.

Disciplinary committee Chair Mohamed Shifaz said Moosa had failed to answer summons to answer charges, forcing the committee to levy harsher penalties.

The remaining five MPs have been ordered to issue a public apology as they breached the party’s three-line whip only once.

Shifaz said that if Moosa wished to rejoin the party, he must publicly apologise and gain 50 new members. However, he will not be allowed to contest in any party primary or stand for a leadership position in the next five years.

Moosa – who had announced he would contest the MDP’s presidential primaries in 2018 – is reported to be signing for the ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) tomorrow.

Opposition aligned Raajje TV has meanwhile reported that the government has awarded Moosa’s Heavy Load Pvt Ltd three islands for resort development following the termination of an agreement to reclaim land in Hulhumalé.

The five other MPs will be dismissed from any elected or appointed posts within the party and from chair or deputy chair positions in any People’s Majlis committees.

If the MPs breach a whip-line again, they will be suspended from contesting party primaries or leadership positions for five years.

Nazim is to be suspended from participating in National Executive Council or Parliamentary Group votes for three months, while Yamin, Bari, Marzooq, and Naseer are to be suspended for six months.

Nazim is also to be dismissed from party committees for three months, and suspended from contesting party primaries or standing for leadership positions for the next two years.

Yamin, Bari, Marzooq, and Naseer are to be dismissed from party committees for six months, and barred from contesting party primaries or standing for leadership positions for the next three years.

Shifaz said he believes the party must also penalise MP Ibrahim ‘Mavota’ Shareef for submitting amendments to the Judicature Act that resulted in the dismissal of Faiz and Muthasim.

The MDP rejected the proposal immediately and Shareef voted against amending the Judicature Act and the dismissal of the two judges.

Shareef was expelled from the MDP in 2007 for refusing to cooperate with an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment. He went on to join the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) before rejoining the MDP in 2013 when the DRP decided to back Nasheed during November’s presidential polls.

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

MDP votes to discipline MPs absent from Supreme Court vote

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


MDP takes action against the party’s Villimalé Deputy Leader for campaigning against party

Opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s Disciplinary Committee has taken action against the party’s VilliMale’ Consituency Deputy President Fathimath Yumna on charges of campaigning for their political opponent Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).

In a letter of the Disciplinary Committee sent to the party’s Chairperson ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik, and shared with media, the committee claims that the verdict is in response to a complaint submitted to the committee alleging that instead of supporting the parliamentary candidate selected through MDP’s primaries, Yumna has been observed to be campaigning against the MDP and in favour of the ruling PPM affiliated candidate.

The Disciplinary Committee has hence decided to take three actions against Yumna. Firstly, she will need to apologise to all existing party members before rejoining the MDP.

Next, she is to submit forms of 50 new members if she wishes to sign up to be a member of the party again.

She is also suspended from contesting for any elected posts within the party, or in any party primaries, for a period of five years.


Umar Naseer’s PPM future to be decided on Thursday

A five-member disciplinary committee will decide the future of Umar Naseer in the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) on Thursday (April 25), according to local media, following the lapse of a seven-day period for Naseer to ‘reform and realign’ with the party’s charter or face expulsion.

Umar stands accused of violating the party’s charter or regulations by levelling serious allegations against PPM presidential candidate MP Abdulla Yameen at a rally held shortly after he was defeated in the party’s presidential primary.

The rally was organised without the approval of the PPM council, which contended that it was held in violation of the party’s rules mandating support for the presidential candidate after the primary.

Umar went ahead with the rally despite pleas for unity by the party’s leader and figurehead, former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

Umar alleged at the rally that primary winner MP Abdulla Yameen was backed by the Gayoom family and the PPM parliamentary group, controlled all of the party’s organs, including the council and election committee, and had “rigged” the primary by ballot stuffing, falsifying the count and “pouring black money” to buy votes.

He further alleged that criminal gangs, convicts and drug smuggling “networks” were part of Yameen’s campaign team.

“Less than 24 hours after my brother Abdulla Yameen won the primary, the foremost person in the Maldives’ corruption network, Deputy Speaker of the People’s Majlis Ahmed Nazim joined the PPM,” Umar said, declaring that he would not back Yameen if he contests the September presidential election with “corrupt people” in his team.

Yameen, who is also half brother of former President Gayoom, denied the accusations, while the PPM later asked Umar to apologise for his remarks or face disciplinary action.

Following his refusal to publicly apologise or defend himself at a subsequent disciplinary committee hearing, Umar’s case was sent to the PPM council and he was given an ultimatum to “come back into the party’s charter” and “reform” himself within seven days.

Umar however remains defiant and addressed supporters on Saturday night in front of his “Command Center” campaign office in Male’.

Umar advised his supporters not to leave the party even if the PPM council or disciplinary committee decides to expel him.

The former PPM deputy leader said he would not cease “speaking the truth” even if he was either dismissed from the party or “hung upside down.”

Umar said he made the allegations of the primary being rigged to inform PPM members of how the election was conducted.

“But we must remain with PPM. We have spoken the truth. We have not lied or deceived,” he said.

Umar asserted that he would prove his allegations of wrongdoing in the primary in court.

PPM member Rahma Moosa, an Umar supporter, filed a case at the Civil Court last week challenging the results of the primary.

“Broad coalition”

Umar also warned that the PPM would face the same fate as the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) in 2008 if the party contested the presidential election in September without a “broad coalition.”

Umar revealed that discussions were ongoing between Jumhooree Party (JP) presidential candidate MP Gasim Ibrahim and President Dr Mohamed Waheed to reach a power sharing agreement beneficial to both parties.

If the talks were successful, Umar said an invitation would be extended to the PPM leadership to join the coalition.

“If our parties face MDP [formerly ruling Maldivian Democratic Party] in this year’s presidential election without forming a broad coalition, [they] would have to eat sand like DRP did in 2008,” Umar said.

“MDP cannot be defeated without such a broad coalition,” he added. “If it is every one for himself, every one going their own way separately in the first round, I am certain that there is the danger of MDP coming back.”

Umar urged all parties to compromise in order to reach an agreement on forming the alliance.

While former President Gayoom was a “truthful and trustworthy” person with integrity, Umar said the same could not be said of PPM presidential candidate MP Abdulla Yameen.

Meanwhile, speaking at a press conference yesterday (April 21), Dhunya Maumoon, state minister for foreign affairs and PPM council member, said the party was not worried about the coalition forming around Dr Waheed.

Compared to the smaller parties, Dhunya said, PPM had more members as well as parliament seats.

Former President Gayoom’s daughter suggested that other parties were worried because they were “certain” that PPM would win the election.

PPM MP for Laamu Fonadhoo, Abdul Raheem Abdulla, meanwhile claimed that the party would face the election with 70,000 or 80,000 members.


Umar Naseer refuses to apologise to PPM

Deputy Leader of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) Umar Naseer has said that he will not apologise to the party, after alleging that its recent primaries in which he stood as a prospective presidential candidate were rigged in favour of former President Gayoom’s half-brother, Abdulla Yameen.

Speaking to press in front of the foreign ministry after returning from Singapore, Naseer said that revealing the truth was not something a person should have to apologise for.

Umar said he did not believe that the party’s disciplinary committee would dismiss him from the party. He also said that if the committee decides to dismiss him, there would be a “massive earthquake” in the party and the PPM would be devastated.

Umar Naseer told the press that he did not file the allegations with the party’s committees because all the committees were under the influence of his opponent in the primaries, Yameen.

He also said that he was used to being suspended and dismissed from political parties – a reference to the events that saw him ejected from the Dhivehi Rayithunge Party (DRP) prior to its split into the PPM.

Umar Naseer reiterated that the persons who should apologise were the ones he claimed cheated in the party primaries.

On April 7, the PPM disciplinary committee accepted a case forwarded to the committee by the party council against Umar Naseer, after he refused to publicly apologise.

In September 2010, when Umar Naseer was the Deputy Leader of Dhivehi Rayyiithunge Party (DRP), the DRP council filed a case against Umar at the Disciplinary Committee for forging a press release and 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.

The Disciplinary Committee of PPM has said that it might take two weeks to decide on Umar’s case.

An audio clip of a phone conversation leaked to social media last week depicts a professed Yameen supporter attempting to buy the votes of Naseer supporters through a person identified in the clip as Ahmed ‘Mujey’ Mujthaba.

Mujthaba – who seemed to have been involved in Yameen’s primary election campaign on Gemanafushi in Gaaf Alif Atoll – was given instructions to trade cash for votes on the island.

According to the audio recording, MVR 300,000 (US$ 19,455.25) was wired to Mujthaba, of which he was to distribute MVR 200,000 (US$ 12,970.17) among potential voters while he was to keep the remaining MVR 100,000 (US$ 6,485.08) for himself as “a small reward”.

The party made no comment on the clip.


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 threatens disciplinary action against two councillors

The opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) has threatened disciplinary action against two of its councillors in Fuvahmulah after the pair voted against the party line in a no-confidence motion against the Dhadimagu ward council chair.

A press statement from the party noted that Hussein Ihsan and Mohamed Farish ignored instructions from the party’s administration.

The DRP council will discuss possible disciplinary action against the pair at its next meeting, the statement said.