MDP appeals committee backs decision to expel MP Moosa

The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) appeals committee has ruled in favour of the party’s decision to expel Majlis Deputy Speaker and Hulhu Henveiru MP Reeko Moosa Manik.

Although Moosa has described the disciplinary committee’s decision as “discriminatory”, the appeals committee found no evidence that any other MPs had defied the party whip more than once, claiming that Moosa had done so on five occasions.

The party’s decision to expel Moosa was prompted by his failure to attend the Majlis for the vote to remove two Supreme Court judges last month. Five other MDP members who failed to follow the party’s instructions to vote against the removal were asked only to issue a public apology.

The appeal committee’s report’s noted that Moosa had violated the parliamentary group’s three-line whip on four other votes in December, listing them as: voting to consider and then to accept amendments to the Judicature Act, voting to pass the 2015 state budget, and voting to amend the Import Export Act.

Moosa admitted to all but one of the charges investigated by the committee. He denied having received the whip notice for the Import Export Act vote.

Moreover, the report stated that harsher penalties in accordance with the frequency of the offences cannot be considered discriminatory or unfair and that Moosa had admitted to intentionally violating the three-line whip regarding the removal of Chief of Justice Ahmed Faiz and Supreme Court Justice Muthasim Adnan in his appeal letter to party Chairperson Ali Waheed.

The five-member appeals committee – comprising Fareesha Abdulla, Mohamed Mahir Easa, Hassan Zahir, Nazil Afeef, and Hassan Latheef – unanimously agreed there was no basis to bring any changes to the decision taken by the disciplinary committee with regards to Moosa.

Moosa was dismissed on December 22 after the MDP National Council had asked the party’s disciplinary committee to take stern action against MPs who violated the three-line whip in the vote in the controversial Supreme Court judges vote.

The Majlis decision has been deemed unconstitutional by multiple local and international groups including the Maldives’ own Civil Court.

According to the decision by the disciplinary committee if Moosa wishes to rejoin the party, he is required to issue a public apology and obtain 50 new members for the party, but he will be barred from standing for any leadership position or contesting in party primaries for five years.

Moosa’s response

Responding to the appeals committee, Moosa said that the decision to expel him and to bar him from contesting in the MDP’s internal elections is in contradiction of articles 26 (b), 90 (a) and 109 (a) of the Constitution.

Article 90 states that “No member or other person shall be liable to any proceedings in any court, and no person shall be subject to any inquiry, arrest, detention or prosecution, with respect to anything said in, produced before, or submitted to the People’s Majlis or any of its committees, or with respect to any vote given if the same is not contrary to any tenet of Islam”.

Article 26 defines the rights to vote and contest in elections, and Article 109 defines the requirements of an individual intending to run for the presidency.

Moosa reiterated his belief that the real reason for his dismissal from the party was his announcement that he intented to contest the MDP’s presidential primaries in 2018.

Also former chairperson and parliamentary group leader, Moosa has previously stated that he does not trust the party’s appeal process, but that he would not contemplate taking the party through the courts.

Reeko stated that he would proceed with the matter further after a decision by the Elections Commission, with which he has also lodged a complaint.

When asked previously why he chose to appeal the disciplinary committee’s decision through the MDP’s internal mechanisms despite having stated that he does not trust the party’s appeal process, Moosa asked: “What else is there to do? I would never take MDP to court, I would never do that”.

Related to this story

MDP expels MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik

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Reeko Moosa condemns MDP expulsion as a move to bar his 2018 presidential candidacy


Amendments to Judicature Act submitted on request of President Nasheed, says Reeko Moosa

Deputy Speaker of Parliament MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik has alleged that amendments to the Judicature Act, which facilitated the removal of two Supreme Court judges, were submitted on the request of former President Mohamed Nasheed.

“[MDP MP Ibrahim ‘Mavota’] Shareef told me personally that the amendments to the Judicature Act were submitted on the request of President Nasheed,” explained the Hulhuhenveiru MP.

Moosa also alleged that neither the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) nor President Nasheed had formally asked MP Shareef to withdraw his amendments.

The former MDP chair was speaking to Minivan News regarding his appeal against the party’s decision to dismiss him for repeatedly breaching the three-line whip – twice during the removal of the judges.

President Nasheed has denied Moosa’s allegations, telling Minivan News: “I did not ask Shareef to submit any bill”.

Moosa suggested that Nasheed – currently the party’s president – was aware he would violate the whip if a situation arose in which Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz was to be defended, therefore initiating a process which would eventually result in the MP’s dismissal.

He has explained his position, arguing that the dismissed chief justice had done great harm to the party, not least when swearing in Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed without question following Nasheed’s controversial resignation of the presidency in February 2012.

During Faiz’s tenure, the Supreme Court bench had stripped three MDP MPs of their membership and annulled the first round of presidential elections held in September 2013, Moosa has previously explained.

The removal of Faiz and Muthasim Adnan was condemned as unconstitutional by numerous local and international organisations, who have said the move compromises the independence of the judiciary.

Moosa reiterated his belief that the real reason for his dismissal from the party was that he had announced his intention to contest the MDP presidential primaries of 2018.

“I attended a meeting with Shareef at President Nasheed’s office to discuss about the amendments (to the Judicature Act). Nasheed did not request Shareef withdraw it.”

When contacted by Minivan News today, Shareef – who submitted the amendments to the Judicature Act in November – refused to confirm Moosa’s claims, saying that he did not wish to comment on the matter for the time being.

The MDP’s national executive council rejected Shareef’s amendments which were subsequently approved with the support of government-aligned parties in the Majlis. Shareef himself eventually voted against both the amendment and the judges’ removal.

Moosa has also questioned the legitimacy of his dismissal from MDP, noting that current party Chairperson Ali Waheed had not officially informed the Majlis

“If my dismissal is serious and legitimate why has it not been done? This also points to the fact that there is something not right about this whole disciplinary committee business”.

Disciplinary Committee decision

The MDP’s disciplinary committee expelled Moosa on December 22, stating that he would be required to issue a public apology and obtain 50 new members for the party should he wish to rejoin.

The committee has, however, barred Moosa from standing for any leadership position or contesting in party primaries for five years.

When asked why he chose to appeal the disciplinary committee’s decision through the MDP’s internal mechanisms despite having stated that he does not trust the party’s appeal process, Moosa asked: “What else is there to do? I would never take MDP to court, I would never do that”.

Moosa has also lodged a complaint with the Elections Commission (EC), which confirmed it has received the case.

Additionally, Moosa said he did not believe that a five-member disciplinary committee could expel him, noting that the dismissal of former MDP President Dr Ibrahim Didi and Vice president Alhan Fahmy was deliberated upon by the party’s National Council.

Moosa also claimed that that the party can only issue whips regarding the way in which votes are to be cast, and not on attendance at the parliament.

The disciplinary committee’s demand that he submit new membership forms when joining the party was also against the MDP’s standing orders, he added,

According to Article 114 of MDP’s constitution: “The disciplinary committee has the authority to warn, fine, suspend and expel parties proven guilty of” violating the party’s constitution, regulations, or damaging the party’s aims or reputation.

In explaining the timeline of events which preceded the parliamentary vote to dismiss the Supreme Court judges, Moosa said he had requested the parliamentary group hold a meeting to further discuss the issue.

Meanwhile in accordance with MDP’s disciplinary committee’s decision regarding the five other MDP MPs who broke the whip for the judges’ removal, their apology letters were published on the MDP’s website yesterday (4 December).

Related to this story

Reeko Moosa appeals to MDP disciplinary committee after dismissal

Reeko Moosa condemns MDP expulsion as a move to bar his 2018 presidential candidacy

Majlis removes Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz, Justice Muthasim Adnan from Supreme Court


Alhan to contest as an independent, Jabir awarded MDP ticket again

The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Alhan Fahmy has decided to contest the Addu Atoll Feydhoo constituency as an independent candidate following the party’s decision not to invalidate primary results despite irregularities.

Meanwhile, the MDP’s deputy parliamentary group leader MP Abdulla Jabir has been granted the party ticket again after the party’s appeals committee invalidated the disciplinary committee’s decision to retract the ticket.

The MDP held primaries in 56 constituencies to determine candidates for the People’s Majlis in late January. The party ticket was awarded to 29 candidates by default.

The MDP’s primaries have been marred by allegations of irregularities, but the election committee has said none of the complaints effect the results.

Feydhoo constituency

Alhan lost the party ticket to Mohamed Nihad on January 31, winning only 154 votes to Nihad’s 316. Shortly after results were announced, Alhan said he did not accept the results and said that polling had proceeded on an outdated voters list.

The election committee has confirmed 67 members were missing from the list at the ballot box, but decided not to hold a re-vote, arguing the primary outcome would not change even if the 67 members were allowed to vote.

Alhan was stabbed in public on February 1 and is currently receiving treatment at Colombo’s Central Hospital.

Speaking to local media, Alhan said: “I do not believe MDP’s decisions are very just at the moment. That is why I have decided to contest as an independent. Certain people are influencing the MDP’s decisions.”

Family members have said Alhan intends to challenge the MDP’s decision at the Elections Commission and the Civil Court as soon as he returns to Malé.

Despite expressing concern that Alhan may not be able to walk yesterday, family members have now said doctors believe Alhan will regain the full use of his legs. Doctors have not yet, however, detected any movement in his right leg yet.

“Doctors say it will take him some time to walk after the operation. They say that leg will get better. It is [paralysed] due to damage to the backbone. It will take some time for my brother to walk,” Alhan’s brother Azban Fahmy has said.

In addition to Alhan, primary candidate in Baa Atoll Kendhoo constituency Mauroof Zakir has also alleged irregularities in the MDP’s Majlis primaries.

Kaashidhoo constituency

The MDP’s disciplinary committee on January 26 retracted Jabir’s party ticket after he violated a three-line whip and voted for President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s cabinet.

Jabir had won the ticket by default due to a lack of contenders.

The committee also stripped Jabir of his position as deputy parliamentary group leader and asked him to issue a public apology. The appeals committee said Jabir had also violated a three-line whip on the day following the cabinet approval vote by rejecting the Penal Code.

The MDP then called for new applicants for the constituency, and had scheduled a primary for this evening.

Jabir subsequently appealed this decision with the MDP’s appeals committee, claiming the disciplinary committee’s verdict was “authoritarian and discriminatory”.

A majority of the six member appeals committee ruled today that under Article 113 of the MDP constitution, the disciplinary committee could only issue a warning, levy a fine, and suspend or revoke party membership. It could not revoke a party ticket, the ruling said.

Further, under the MDP Parliamentary Group’s rules of procedures, the group’s deputy leader could only be removed from his position after a no confidence motion within the group.

Jabir has now been reinstated to the position, and primaries for the Kaashidhoo constituency have been called off.


MDP suspends MPs Zahir and Abdul Raheem

The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has suspended MPs Zahir Adam and Abdulla Abdul Raheem’s from the party until the end of the parliamentary elections, scheduled for March.

The party’s disciplinary committee decided to suspend the two MPs for contravening a three-whip line on December 30 and voting for President Abdulla Yameen’s cabinet.

Zahir and Abdul Raheem have been ordered to apologise to the party membership before January 30, and will not be allowed to contest any internal party elections – including primaries – for the next three years.

The two MPs did not stand in the MDP’s ongoing parliamentary primaries.

Chair of the disciplinary committee and MP Hamid Abdul Ghafoor said Zahir and Abdul Raheem’s membership had been suspended to ensure the two MPs do not contest March’s parliamentary elections as independents while retaining MDP membership.

Speaking to Sun Online, Zahir said he did not accept the MDP’s disciplinary actions.

“I won this seat as an independent. I do not think there is any action that can be taken against me for any decision I make while in this seat,” he said.

In addition to Zahir and Abdul Raheem, MPs Mohamed Rasheed (Matrix Mode), Ahmed Rasheed, Abdulla Jabir, Ali Riza, and Ahmed Easa voted against the party’s whip line on December 30.

Mohamed Rasheed and Ahmed Rasheed have left the party and joined the Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) and Jumhooree Party (JP) respectively. If the two MPs intend to join MDP again, they must apologise to the party’s membership and 50 members each.

Jabir, Riza, and Easa stood uncontested for reselection, and had already been placed on the party ticket when they voted against the whip.

The MDP has stripped Jabir of his position as deputy leader of the parliamentary group, ordered him to issue an apology by January 30, and decided to hold a referendum in his Kaashidhoo constituency to determine whether the MDP membership approve of granting Jabir the party ticket.

Speaking to local media, Jabir has said he will stand for the referendum and said he had informed the party of his decision to vote for Yameen’s cabinet.

“The MDP had officially accepted the government. [We have to] keep the national interest in mind. I will not leave MDP. I will stay with the party,” he told Haveeru.

Riza has been reprimanded and asked to issue an apology by January 30.

Meanwhile, the party has decided not to take any action against Easa, stating that his actions on December 30 only constituted a first offense.