Nasheed’s brother and former spouse removed from MDP membership register

Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed (L) and then-spouse, Laila Ali (R) return from exile on November 1, 2018. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Muzayyin Nazim)

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) leader, former president Mohamed Nasheed states that both his brother Dr. Ahmed Nashid and his former spouse Laila Ali have been removed from the MDP membership register.

In a press conference Sunday night after concluding his campaign tour of HA. Atoll and HDh. Atoll, Nasheed said that some of MDP’s founding members had been deliberately removed from the party’s membership register.

According to information released by MDP last week, 57,714 members are eligible to vote in the party’s upcoming presidential primary. The figure is significantly lower than the over 94,211 members who had been eligible to vote in the internal elections held back in May last year.

36,497 members were removed as part of efforts to make the party’s membership register correspond with Elections Commission’s register.

Reiterating his concern over the issue, Nasheed said both his former spouse Laila, his brother Nashid, along with Police Board member Hamid Abdul Gafoor – all of whom are loyal to Nasheed – were among those removed from MDP’s membership.

“When I talk about the people who were removed, I am talking about Ahmed Abbas of Daisymaage, Hamid Abdul Gafoor, Dr. Nashid of my family, and Laila of Yaagoothge. I don’t know how to ask them to rejoin MDP. I don’t know how to ask them this, I cannot ask them this,” he said.

Nasheed believes the people who were removed were people who were sure to vote against President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

“I have been telling everyone, there is no other choice but for me to win the election,” he said.

Nasheed estimates the removal of the members, taking into account their families and friends, will result in a loss of some 70,000 votes for President Solih.

The only way MDP can get those votes is if he contests, said Nasheed.

MDP’s deputy chairperson Ibrahim Waheed (Iburey) has previously denied Nasheed’s allegation, stating that only members registered to other parties were removed.

The upcoming primary – scheduled for January 28 - has deepened the divide within MDP.