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MDP withdraws support for candidate accused of domestic violence

Thinadhoo North candidate Abdul Mughnee was accused by his ex-wife.



The Maldivian Democratic Party has withdrawn support for a candidate in the upcoming parliamentary elections after he was accused of domestic violence by his ex-wife.

Citing the “serious allegations” raised on social media, MDP spokeswoman Afshan Latheef told the press on Monday that the decision to withdraw support for Thinadhoo North candidate Abdul Mughni was made after consultations within the party.

“Neither [former president Mohamed] Nasheed nor anyone else will be joining any campaign activity of that candidate,” she said.

The party lacks the legal authority to withdraw his candidacy for the April 6 polls. Mughni has refused to drop out and protested his innocence.

“The party has organs that can look into such allegations. I regret that such an action was taken without even asking me a question,” he told Mihaaru, dismissing the allegations of domestic violence.

He was never charged with a crime or summoned for questioning, he added.

The alleged incidents of abuse occurred 11 years ago. Mughni’s ex-wife raised the allegations after he sought the MDP’s ticket in November. He went on win the primary election in January with over 60 percent of the vote.

On Sunday, amid growing calls for the party to withdraw its support or declare a stand, her allegations were supported by people who witnessed the alleged abuse. One man claimed he had dragged Mughni away while he was beating his then-wife.

“I will not participate in the campaign of a person accused of domestic violence,” former president Nasheed tweeted after the spokeswoman’s announcement.  “If an MDP candidate is accused of such a thing, I urge that person on his own to agree that he won’t do it again and seek forgiveness for it.”

Afshan, the MDP spokeswoman, said the party has not made a decision on supporting another candidate in the Thinadhoo North race.

The southern island is a stronghold of the MDP, which made a clean sweep of the island council in the 2017 municipal elections.

Mughnee’s opponents are independent candidate Ikleel Adam and incumbent MP Saudhulla Hilmy, who is seeking re-election with the support of former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

Gayoom has applauded the MDP’s decision to withdraw support for Mughnee.