Elections Commission looking into MDP’s revolution calls

The Elections Commission (EC) has confirmed it is investigating calls made by the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) earlier this month to try and overthrow the current government through an ‘Ingilaab’ (revolution).

Former President Mohamed Nasheed on December 11 called for a “revolution” to overthrow the administration of President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan, claiming it is the only way to have a government that is “by the people”.

The motion was later passed the same day by the National Council of the MDP at Kulhudhuhfushi in Haa Dhaal Atoll.

Vice President of the Elections Commission Ahmed Fayaz stated today that the commission had received a complaint concerning the MDP’s motion, and hence had begun looking into the matter.

“Our in-house legal team is working along with an external firm of lawyers who sometimes provide legal advice to our commission. The commissioners will be discussing the matter only when the legal team finishes their review,” he said.

Fayaz further added that he did not know when the commission would be able to come to a decision on the matter, saying it all depended on how fast the legal team manages to review the matter.

Fayaz said that the legal team would need to review the definition of what an ‘Ingilaab’ or revolution is, and what the constitution and accompanying laws and regulations stated on the matter before deciding whether or not action needed to be taken against MDP.

“We cannot comment on what the outcome may be before the legal review is completed. We don’t even know yet what action, if any, will have to be taken against the MDP,” Fayaz said.

MDP Spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor defined ‘Ingilaab’ as bringing about a change. He declined from commenting on the complaint currently being looked at by the EC.

The complaint is reported to have been registered with the EC earlier this month by Ibrahim Manik of Henveiru Finifenmaage Aage.  Manik was reported to have requested at the time that action be taken against the MDP’s plans for a revolution “at the earliest”.

“Since my mind believes that the MDP National Council’s decision to topple the government through a revolution may weaken the country politically, socially, economically and in the area of military defences, and the country may be faced with an unrecoverable loss, I am pleading with your commission with respect, love and affection to take necessary action against this without the slightest delay,” local media reports Manik to have said in his letter to the EC.

Meanwhile, former President and interim President of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) Maumoon Abdul Gayoom has previously labelled the MDP’s resolution to bring about a revolution as a “criminal offence.”

Gayoom further said at the time that MDP’s announcement to commit the offence must be met with the due penalty, adding that the idea to orchestrate a revolution could not be entertained, stating: “It is an offence to even speak of such a thing.”