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MDP denies electoral body funding snub

The state budget for 2018 allocates MVR 24 million for political parties.



The Maldivian Democratic Party Tuesday denied it suffering a funding snub from the electoral body because it has yet to submit an audit report for last year.

Elections Commission member Ahmed Akram was reported as saying the finance ministry would be asked to provide funds for the MDP if the party submits the report before a May 8 deadline.

But MDP deputy chair Ahmed Abdulla said this was not the case.

He told the Maldives Independent: “EC did not say that they will give funds to all parties excluding MDP. They said MDP will also be given the funds when we submit the audit report. We are confident that the audit report can be submitted before the deadline.

The former president of the party’s youth wing, Aminath Shauna, confirmed the audit report was done and ready to be submitted to the electoral body.

There has been growing tension between the EC and the opposition alliance, with parties in the coalition saying the electoral body lacks independence and cannot conduct free and fair polls.

The EC is headed by former utility boss Ahmed Shareef, a supporter of President Abdulla Yameen.

According to the Political Parties Act, parties with more than 10,000 registered members must be provided with funds within the first three months of every year.

The three months end on May 8, as the days are counted without weekends and public holidays. Funds are given at a rate of MVR 251.58 per member.

The state budget for 2018 allocates MVR 24 million for political parties. It will now be provided to the ruling coalition’s Progressive Party of Maldives and Maldives Development Alliance and opposition Jumhooree Party.

The PPM, with 45,865 registered members, will get MVR 11.5 million. The MDA with 10,537 will get MVR 2.7 million and the JP, with a membership of 10,225, will get MVR 2.6 million.

The MDP, with 29,759 members, will get MVR 7.5 million if it submits the audit report before the deadline.

The remaining two parties, Adhaalath Party and Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party, are not eligible for the funds because they have a membership below 10,000.

This story has been updated.