Alhan Fahmy, a former MP and vice president of the Maldivian Democratic Party, has sued the main opposition party at the civil court seeking the annulment of internal elections held in 2014.
Alhan’s lawsuit follows the MDP disciplinary committee’s decision yesterday to bar him from seeking any leadership posts for one year and six months as a punishment for contesting the March 2014 parliamentary elections as an independent candidate.
The disciplinary committee announced its decision yesterday, but the suspension period – which started on March 22, 2014 – has already expired.
Alhan told the press yesterday that he was barred from contesting the MDP’s last leadership election in late 2014 based on the disciplinary action. However, as the disciplinary committee only finalised its decision yesterday, Alhan contends that the disqualification of his candidacy was unfair.
“I was surprised by the disciplinary action, because even then I was prevented from being elected by saying that I was under disciplinary measures. Even then I told them that no disciplinary action had been taken against me, but MDP decided so,” he told reporters.
But members on the disciplinary committee have said that its decision was made public at Alhan’s request.
The committee said Alhan was offered an opportunity to respond to charges, during which he admitted to contesting as an independent after failing to secure the party’s ticket through a primary.
“Further, he stormed out of the committee after saying that he will not accept the disciplinary committee’s decision nor cooperate with it,” the ruling explained.
The disciplinary committee comprised of Dr Musthafa Luthfy, former education minister and vice presidential candidate, MP Imthiyaz Fahmy, Shuaib Ali, former undersecretary at the president’s office, and Akram Kamaludeen, head of the MDP’s Malé branch.
Alhan had also sought the annulment of the MDP’s 2014 Feydhoo constituency primary, claiming the poll was fraudulent.
After contesting as an independent, Alhan finished in last place with only 3.4 percent of the vote in his native Feydhoo constituency, handing a narrow victory to ruling party candidate Ibrahim Didi.
Alhan has had a chequered recent past with the MDP, rejoining the party in June 2013 after an acrimonious forced exit. In early 2012, the MDP national council voted unanimously to remove Alhan and then-party President Dr Ibrahim Didi from their posts after the pair publicly questioned the party’s official interpretation of the February 7 ousting of President Mohamed Nasheed.
The Feydhoo MP then organised a sparsely-attended rally calling for the freeing of the MDP from its talismanic leader Nasheed. Alhan subsequently joined the government-aligned Jumhooree Party,
Alhan was initially elected to the parliament in 2009 on a Dhivehi Rayithunge Party ticket, making him one of the few MPs to have been a member of almost every major political party represented in parliament, with the exception of the now-ruling Progressive party of Maldives.
In February 2014, Alhan was stabbed in the back at a restaurant in Malé.
Since the 2014 parliamentary election, Alhan has struggled for media attention with press statements and daily pronouncements on social media.
Alhan’s stringent criticism of the MDP leadership with accusations of undermining internal democracy has also drawn the ire of the party’s supporters on social media, who regularly taunt and curse at the former MP.
Other high profile disciplinary action against senior MDP members include the expulsion of MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik in December 2014.
The former MDP chairperson was asked to issue a formal apology to party members and to recruit 50 new members for the party should he wish to regain membership.
Moosa was expelled after repeatedly breaching the party’s three-line whip in parliament.
But the former actor and businessman has maintained that he was dismissed after announcing his intention to challenge Nasheed in the MDP 2018 presidential primary.