First hearing in court case over MDP’s primary postponed

Ballot paper in MDP's presidential primary on January 28, 2023. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Shaathiu)

The first hearing in the Civil Court case seeking to nullify the results of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s presidential primary and stop the presentation of the party’s presidential ticket to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih scheduled for Tuesday morning has been postponed.

Civil Court initially scheduled the first hearing in the case for Tuesday morning and accordingly informed the parties to the case of the scheduled hearing. However, the case was not listed in the court’s schedule for Tuesday publicized on its website.

Sun has learned that the hearing was moved to next week’s Sunday.

The contentious MDP primary on January 28 had pitched MDP’s leader and Parliament speaker, former president Mohamed Nasheed against President Solih, who went on to win the election with 61 percent of the votes, paving the path for re-election to a second term in office.

President Solih was presented with the party’s ticket in a ceremony held at the Alimas Carnival on February 17th.

The case contesting the election results was submitted by Ali Amjadh. He is represented by Fathimath Dhiyana Saeed, who served as attorney general during Nasheed’s administration and played a leading role in his campaign.

Nasheed has asked the court to establish that 39,000 members were removed from MDP in violation of regulations – an allegation that he and his supporters have repeatedly made prior to and after the primary.

Nasheed refuses to back President Solih in the upcoming presidential election, stating that he does not have the votes to win the election.

MDP has denied the allegation made by Nasheed, insisting that only members registered with other political parties were removed from MDP’s membership. The party said they were given ample time to re-register with MDP.

However, Nasheed alleges that it was a deliberate move to remove his supporters from MDP.

He is working on forming a separate political wing within MDP, under the name ‘Fikuregge Dhirun’ – which had been his campaign slogan for the MDP primary.