MP Azim slapped with one-year ban from MDP

Central Henveiru MP Ali Azim. (Photo/People's Majlis)

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s disciplinary committee has decided to expel Central Henveiru MP Ali Azim from the party, and ban him from rejoining the party for at least one year.

The move comes after Azim and other MDP lawmakers who belong to the party’s leader Mohamed Nasheed’s ‘Fikuregge Dhirun’ faction formed an alliance with the opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), Jumhoory Party (JP), and Maldives National Party (MNP), alleging the government failed to act in the best interests of the Maldivian people in the case lodged with the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) over the disputed maritime area between Maldives and Mauritius.

Azim’s involvement in the alliance was raised with the disciplinary committee by the party’s parliamentary group on Monday.

The party announced the committee’s decision on Tuesday morning.

According to the committee report, it decided to ban Azim, who was once MDP’s top lawmaker, for one year. The committee decided that any request by Azim to rejoin the party after one year would require the membership forms from 100 new members.

Azim has also been banned from contesting for any post within MDP and from running in any primary for five years.

The decision was signed by the committee’s deputy chair Akram Kamaluddin and members Samiu Anwar and Ahmed Majdhee.

According to the committee, it made the decision based on Azim’s endorsement of a no-confidence motion filed against Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath last week, and participation in two press conferences held by MDP’s political rivals.

In making the decision:

  • The committee members reached a unanimous consensus that the decision by Azim to endorse the no-confidence motion against Riffath when no organ within MDP had made any such decision violates the party’s policies.
  • The committee found that criticism was voiced against the party’s candidate President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih at both press conferences, which could be damaging to the party’s interests. The committee decided involvement in such activities are in violation of the party’s constitution, and poses grounds for expulsion.
  • The committee decided that failing to take action would encourage a repeat of such actions, and encourage other members to commit such acts.

Azim had been reprimanded last year for violating the party parliamentary group’s whip-line in the vote on tax hikes. He had voted against raising taxes.