EC: Mahloof disqualified in violation of MDP constitution

Ahmed Mahloof speaks during a MDP national council meeting on February 1, 2018. (Sun Photo/Ahmed Aushan Ilyas)

Elections Commission (EC) said on Thursday that the decision by Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) to disqualify Sports Minister Ahmed Mahloof from the upcoming national council elections was made in violation of the party’s constitution submitted to the commission. 

EC made its decision regarding the complaint lodged by Mahloof over his disqualification this Thursday. 

EC said that the Maldivian Constitution empowers political parties to set a condition or conditions for an internal post or candidates for internal posts that facilitate the protection of the integrity of candidates and interests of the party, for as long as they do not contradict the Constitution, laws, regulations and international conventions Maldives is party to. 

However, such conditions must be pushed on candidates for internal elections after declaring the conditions in the party’s constitution as required under Political Parties Act, said EC. 

EC said that the only condition for candidates for internal elections in MDP’s constitution shared with the commission is that they must be an MDP member, and that the constitution make no mention of the condition the party cited in its decision to disqualify Mahloof. 

MDP disqualified Mahloof from the national council elections citing that he was under investigation by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for corruption. 

However, Mahloof argued that MDP’s announcement regarding the elections does not state that candidates will be disqualified for such a reason, and neither is the condition mentioned in MDP’s elections regulations. 

Mahloof said he lodged the complaint with EC following lack of response from the MDP Council of Appellate Judges and MDP chairman Hassan Latheef to letters requesting a review of the decision to disqualify him from the elections.   

Mahloof had applied to contest for presidency of the North Central Province (K. Atoll, AA. Atoll, ADh. Atoll and V. Atoll).