Umar Naseer resubmits case to invalidate outcome of PPM primary

Umar Naseer has resubmitted a case at the Civil Court to try and invalidate the outcome of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) primary vote – days after the same court dismissed a similar legal claim on a technicality.

A spokesperson for the Civil Court confirmed that Naseer yesterday (May 5) submitted the case under his own name after a judge dismissed the matter on the grounds that the party member who originally filed the case had not herself been one of the candidates competing in the vote.

Naseer, who contested the PPM presidential primary against the party’s Parliamentary Group Leader and eventual winner MP Abdullah Yameen, has since been removed from the party after accusing his rival of corrupt practices to secure his victory.

All allegations of vote corruption during the primary have been denied by Yameen and senior PPM figures.

According to a Civil Court spokesperson, the case resubmitted today by Naseer was believed to be “almost exactly the same” as the one filed by a PPM member on April 18 with the exception of a few “small changes”. The court official said that Umar Naseer was also believed to have requested an interim order along with the case, though no further details were available at time of press on the nature of the request.

As Naseer’s case has yet to be registered officially at the court, the spokesperson said that no date had as yet been scheduled for when a hearing into the matter would be taking place.

A separate case has also previously been filed by Naseer at the Civil Court contesting his dismissal form the party whilst legal action was being undertaken.

Naseer has previously said he does not provide any information or interviews to Minivan News.

PPM MPs Abdulla Yameen and Ahmed Mahloof were not responding to calls at time of press.

Earlier case

The previous case seeking to invalidate the PPM primary was submitted by party member Rahma Moosa, who alleged that thousands of voters were not officially registered with the PPM at the time they cast votes on their preferred party candidate.

Moosa reportedly filed the case claiming that 8,915 people who were not officially registered as members of PPM had been allowed to vote in the primary.  She contended that the move contravened the Political Party Act and compromised the rights of all general members of the party.

Divisions between certain PPM supporters have appeared following March’s primary, after Naseer accused his MP Yameen of having controlled all of the party’s organs, including the council and election committee, and had “rigged” the vote in his favour by ballot stuffing, falsifying the count.

Having previously denied the accusations, current senior representatives for the PPM have pledged to move past the dispute, with local media reporting that a rally scheduled to be held Friday (May 3) to announce MP Yameen’s running mate for the presidential elections was postponed as a result of adverse weather.


Umar Naseer dismissed from PPM, local media reports

Umar Naseer has been dismissed from the the government-aligned Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) over allegations made following his unsuccessful bid to become the party’s presidential candidate, local media has confirmed today.

The Sun Online publication today reported that Naseer has been sent an official notice of dismissal invalidating his PPM membership.

Following the PPM primary last month, Naseer alleged that his opponent MP Abdulla Yameen controlled all of the party’s organs, including the council and election committee, and had “rigged” the vote in his favour by ballot stuffing, falsifying the count and “pouring black money” to buy votes.

He further alleged that Yameen, half-brother of former autocratic ruler, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, was fully backed by the former president’s family and PPM parliamentary group, as well as criminal gangs, convicts and drug smuggling “networks”.

A case against Naseer was heard by the PPM’s internal disciplinary council on April 14 over the nature of possible action taken against him after he refused to apologise to Yameen or defend himself at the subsequent disciplinary hearing.

When contacted by Minivan News today, a spokesperson for Umar Naseer refused to confirm if such a notice had been received.

“I’m sorry, but we do not give interviews to Minivan News,” the spokesperson said.

PPM MP Ahmed Mahloof was meanwhile not responding to calls from Minivan News. Fellow MP Ahmed Nihan had his phone switched off at time of press.

“Not in the mood”

Nihan told Minivan News earlier this week that Naseer had failed to respond, either verbally or in writing, during a seven day period provided by the PPM’s disciplinary hearing to retract the allegations he had made.

“It seems he was not in the mood to follow the party’s charter,” Nihan added, pointing to several media reports that Naseer had taken a role in discussions to form a broad coalition of government-aligned parties behind current President Dr Mohamed Waheed ahead of the presidential election scheduled for September 7 this year.

However, local newspaper Haveeru has reported that Naseer himself has questioned the legality of any action to remove him from the PPM while the Civil Court is in the process of hearing a case on whether to invalidate the outcome of the PPM primary.

PPM member Rahma Moosa lodged the case earlier this month claiming 8,915 people who were not officially registered as members of PPM had been allowed to vote in the primary.

The PPM has previously said that although the additional persons had not been registered at the Elections Commission by March 10, they were allowed to vote as they had submitted membership forms to the party.

PPM formation

The PPM was formed by former President Gayoom back in 2011 together with a breakaway faction from within the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP).

The DRP – the first political party formed by Gayoom back in 2005 – was split into two factions of supporters backing former president Gayoom and those supporting his successor as DRP Leader, Ahmed Thasmeen Ali.

Infighting in the party had intensified from back in December 2010 after Umar Naseer was dismissed as the DRP’s Deputy Leader following a vote by the party’s disciplinary committee.