MDP accuses ‘Democrats’ of seizing party centre and damaging property

Former STO MD Hussain Amr breaks open the lock at MDP's main party centre, MDP Haruge, on May 29, 2023. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Shaathiu Abdulla)

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has condemned the breaking and entering of the party’s main party center, MDP Haruge, located near the Henveiru Artificial Beach, by ‘The Democrats’ on Monday evening.

MDP Haruge is located on a land owned by Shafiyya Zubair, one of the party’s former senior activists. During the great divide of the party, Shafiyya sided with MDP’s leader, Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed.

On Monday evening, individuals spearheading the formation of ‘The Democrats’ – a new political party under Nasheed’s guidance – had broken the lock at MDP Haruge and entered the premise in Shafiyya’s premise. They removed all MDP properties at the location. The Democrats state the location will be used as a center of the party in the future.

MDP, in a statement released on Monday night, said the Haruge has been seized by a group of people who forcibly entered the premise after breaking the lock. They also underscored property belonging to the party at the premise had been intentionally damaged.

The main ruling party said the rent payments have been made regularly to the landowner in accordance with the agreement executed between the two.

Underscoring Shafiyya had verbally agreed to let MDP continue their political activities at the party centre till the end of the upcoming presidential election, the party said she had acted in violation of the agreement today.

“Therewith, a group of individuals have entered and seized the Haruge, and damaged property belonging to this party while proceedings in a case lodged with the Civil Court by the party to uphold rights guaranteed to MDP under the agreement are still ongoing,” the statement read.

MDP, in their Civil Court claim, requested to allow the party to use the party centre till July 31st; until they can find an alternate location.

Shafiyya, speaking to journalists at the scene during the alleged ‘seize’, said she asked to vacate the premise to construct a new building on the land. She also revealed her decision to seek damages for losses incurred over MDP’s failure to vacate the premise.