EC initiates dissolution of DRP

Kaashidhoo MP Abdulla Jabir. (Photo/People's Majlis)

Elections Commission (EC) has initiated the process of dissolving Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) due to failure to meet the 3,000-member requirement.

EC’s chairman Fuad Thaufeeq told Sun on Sunday evening that DRP had been given three months’ notice to bring up membership numbers after the party’s membership fell below 3,000.

“According to the law, we need to give three months’ notice to political parties that fail to meet the 3,000-member requirement, and take measures to dissolve the party if they fail to meet the membership mark during that period,” he said.

Fuad said DRP failed to bring up membership numbers to 3,000 within the three-month notice period, and the commission had therefore decided to dissolve the party and was engaged in discussions and collecting information to get it done.

“The party hasn’t been dissolved yet. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done before we dissolved the party. We are currently engaged in that,” he said.

DRP had previously been issued notice by EC back in March after membership fell below the required figure. However, the party had managed to bring membership up to 3,000 in June.

DRP is headed by Kaashidhoo MP Abdulla Jabir. He was elected the party’s leader on July 23, 2019.

DRP, the second political party to be founded in Maldives, was registered on July 15, 2005. The party’s first leader was former Maldivian president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

Maumoon had run in the 2008 presidential elections with former Kendhoo MP and then-DRP deputy leader Thasmeen Ali as his running mate. In the 2010 DRP congress following their election defeat, Maumoon was removed from his leadership role and replaced with Thasmeen.

The move sparked division within the party, and Maumoon founded another political party – Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).

Thasmeen and his then-wife, former Maduvvari MP Visam Ali left DRP in 2013.

They, along with then-Thulusdhoo MP Rozaina Adam joined Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).

The party was later headed by former Nolhivaram MP Mohamed Nasheed (Colonel), and then Jabir.

The party’s activities have remained stall for years after DRP was sued for costs it incurred during Maumoon’s leadership. In 2014, the Civil Court ordered DRP to pay over MVR 1.1 million in outstanding invoices to Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC).

The ruling was upheld upon appeal at the High Court, prompting DRP to appeal the ruling with the Supreme Court. However, Supreme Court decided against accepting the appeal in 2020.

DRP had been the political party which won the highest number of seats during the 2009 parliamentary elections, which had been Maldives’ first multi-party parliamentary elections. The party had won 28 seats.

However, now, the DRP has a single seat – the one represented by Jabir.