DRP claims MDP influencing Elections Commission

The Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) has accused the Elections Commission (EC) of failing to register members who have shifted to the DRP from the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).

Mohamed Hussain ‘Mundhu’ Shareef, spokesman for the former president and DRP member in charge of the Noonu atoll branch, said he noticed the problem when 66 newly-joined DRP members from the island of Miladhoo in Noonu Atoll failed to appear on a list from the EC.

”As soon as we figured out these people were missing from the EC list, we scanned it to see whether people from other atolls were missing as well,” he said.

That recount revealed many more DRP members from Haa Alifu Atoll and Gaafu Aalifu Atoll missing from the list, Mundhu claimed.

“People who shifted from Adhaalath party and Qaumeee party were in the list, but those who came from MDP were not there,” he said, accusing the MDP of influencing the EC.

He said that the DRP had sent a letter to the EC two weeks ago to clarify why the people were missing from the list “but they have not responded.”

President of Elections Commission Fuad Thaufeeq said the claims made by the DRP that members were missing from the list were untrue.

He said that by law people could only be members of one political party, “and sometimes when people try to join a party without resigning from another registered party, we will not register them.”

Thaufeeq furthermore stressed that the commission was working independently ”and nobody can influence us.”

Spokesman for MDP Ahmed Haleem said the EC was an independent institution and accused the DRP “of inventing a new story about MDP everyday”

”They spread these type of rumours just to gain popularity,” he said. “They can’t get famous without saying something against us,” he said.

DRP MP Ahmed Mahloof said he had heard no information about the issue while MDP MP Moosa ‘Reeko’ Manik claimed “nobody from MDP would resign to join DRP.”

”The EC works independently; it was elected by the parliament,” Moosa said. “They were elected not only by the vote of MDP MPs but DRP MPs voted for them as well.”


Scotland to support Maldivian green power

First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond will sign a joint statement of cooperation with President Mohamed Nasheed at Copenhagen, pledging Scottish knowledge and support for the development of green power in the Maldives.

Speaking at a press conference in Edinburgh, Salmond said Scotland would work together with the Maldives “to transfer knowledge about the capacity building needed to respond to the huge challenges posed by the climate change around us. We are delighted to help the Maldives in their endeavour to become the world’s first carbon neutral country.

“What is clear is that the industrialised nations must agree to targets that are both meaningful and binding. Anything short of that risks failing not just their own citizens, but those of the many developing nations most exposed to the destructive impact of climate change,” he added.

Glasgow-based Maldives Envoy for Science and Technology, Ahmed Moosa, said as a Scottish-trained engineer himself, he believed Scotland could play “a big part” in the development of renewable energy the Maldives, beginning with joint discussions in Copenhagen. “I think this is the start of something very special,” he added.

More than 30 per cent of Scotland’s energy will be provided by renewable energy sources by 2011, Salmond claimed, with the figure rising to half by 2020 – a key element of the country’s ambitious emission reduction target of 42 per cent by the same year.

Much of that will be produced by onshore wind farms. Scotland already has Europe’s largest onshore wind farm at Whitelee in Eaglesham Moor, which will soon be expanded to 593 megawatts allowing it power over a quarter of a million homes.

“Mr Moosa informed me that a wind farm of the same capacity could supply power to every house in the Maldives’ 1200 islands,” Salmond said, “although I think the transport lines might be a wee bit complex.”

The Maldives recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Swedish company Madsen Consulting, which will carry out a feasability study for establishing a wind farm in the Northern Province. The single 75w turbine will be installed in Lhaviyani atoll Hinnavaru early next year.