Elections Commission validates Thasmeen’s DRP leadership

The Elections Commission (EC) has reportedly ruled against claims by dismissed Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party’s (DRP) leader Umar Naseer that the appointment of the party’s leadership last year was invalid after it failed to submit official paperwork within a 15 day deadline.

Haveeru reported that the party’s leadership had been deemed valid by the EC after discussions with local legal experts, despite the DRP’s failure to comply with the Regulation of Political Parties and officially notify the commission of changes to its leadership.  The party was required to submit official documentation  and minutes of a congress held in February 2010 where Ahmed Thasmeen Ali was appointed as successor to Maumoon Abdul Gayoom as head of the DRP.

Earlier this month, EC Vice President Ahmed Hassan Fayaz told Minivan News that although he was aware of a clause in the party’s existing regulations relating to supplying official minutes to the commission, the EC did not have authority to strip a party leader of his position.

Fayaz claimed additionally that Thasmeen’s appointment at the congress, which was supported by Gayoom before he became openly critical of his successor earlier this year, had been witnessed by hundreds of party delegates as well as being covered by local media – ensuring that it was a well-documented decision.

According to Haveeru, Elections Commissioner Fuad Thaufeeq said this week that Thasmeen’s leadership of the DRP had been deemed valid following consultations with the Premier Chambers law firm.

The EC head was quoted in the report as deciding to accept official documents and minutes relating to the appointment of Thasmeen at last year’s DRP congress, despite the official 15 day deadline having long passed.

DRP MP Ahmed Nihan, supporter of the Z-DRP faction of the party that is critical of Thasmeen’s leadership, said earlier this month that he believed the deadline for submitting the leadership paperwork was not just an administrative error and had serious implications for the party.

Nihan, citing a SunFM report, claimed that under the EC’s own mandate, details and a recording of the national congress held by the party to approve its new leadership needed to be sent to the regulatory body within 15 days of the event being held.

The DRP MP claimed this still had not happened as of last month, representing a “clear breach” of party regulation by its leader.