28 February 2012
MDP Members of Parliament Being “Purged”
The Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) today notified international partners that the regime of Dr. Mohamed Waheed, which is itself controlled by supporters of the former autocratic President, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, is intent on purging the People’s Majlis of MDP MPs and MDP-leaning MPs in order to secure a controlling majority.
Recent days have seen cases against three MDP-supporting MPs fast-tracked in order to disqualify them from parliament while serious corruption charges have been dropped for opposition leaning MPs.
Today, criminal court decided that Mr. Ahmed Saleem, close associate of Mr. Gayyoom and MP for Eydhafushi constituency, is not guilty on serious embezzlement charges, which has been unreasonably delayed in the court process since 2009.
Kaashidhoo constituency MP Ismail Abdul Hameed, an Independent MP who frequently voted with MDP, on February 27, lost his seat in Parliamentafter the Supreme Court backed a ruling sentencing him to one and a half years banishment for misusing his authority to commit an act of corruption. Hameed lost his seat exactly one weekto the day since Thimarafushi constituency MP Mohamed Musthafa was stripped of his seat following a Supreme Court ruling that he was liable for debt owed by a private company to a now-defunct bank. Then yesterday, a court case was brought against MDP MP Hassan Adhil following a complaint by the mother of his stepdaughter – a complaint that the police said at the time of investigation was “weak”. The case is due to be heard today.
Meanwhile, four corruption cases brought against Ahmed Nazim, a leading figure in the PPM party of former President Gayoom and Deputy Speaker of the Parliament were all quickly dropped last week, despite independent audit reports linking him to fraud and despite former employees testifying of his guilt. The Criminal Court Judge concluded that his “acts were not enough to criminalise” him legally. Furthermore, corruption cases lodged at the criminal court against Abdulla Hameed, Algeen Abdul Gayoom, brothers of the Mr. Gayyoom have not been processed for the past three years.
MDP Spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor said today: “while in Government, MDP consistently maintained that key parts of the judiciary are in the hands of the supporters of former President Gayoom. Now we are seeing the truth of that claim. Dr. Waheed regime is using the courts to settle old scores, to reduce MDP’s parliamentary majority and to wipe the slate clean for government supporters”.
Hamid Abdul Ghafoor
Spokesperson, International Affairs