MDP Presidential Primary Challenged in Court


Hamid Abdul Ghafoor, a supporter of the Maldives Democratic Party’s (MDP) president and Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed, has filed a case in Civil Court seeking to declare the MDP presidential primary invalid and prevent the party from giving the presidential ticket to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. Ghafoor’s lawyer is former Attorney General Dhiyana Saeed, who campaigned for Nasheed in the presidential primary. The handover ceremony for the presidential ticket is scheduled to take place at Alimas Carnival area in Malé city the following evening.

Nasheed has accused the primary results of being rigged, claiming that 39,000 members of the MDP who were previously registered in the party were disqualified and therefore denied the right to vote, leading to a lower voter turnout for Nasheed. However, the MDP presidential primary committee has stated that the 39,000 members were expelled before the party’s chairman’s election to validate the register. They were registered with other parties, and many members had not provided their fingerprints, leaving their membership forms incomplete.

Despite Nasheed’s complaints, the election committee has maintained that the complaints did not justify a change in the primary’s outcome. President Solih won the most competitive primary election in MDP history by 61 percent.

Nasheed launched a political movement called “Fikuregge Dhirun,” which translates to “reviving an ideology,” after refusing to accept the result. A large number of MDP members have joined the movement, and more than 50,000 members have signed up so far, according to Ibrahim Rasheed, a lead member of the movement.