Action allegedly taken against Azim without consulting committee’s chair

MDP's leader Mohamed Nasheed (CL) and deputy leader Mohamed Shifaz (CR). (Sun Photo)

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s Deputy Leader Mohamed Shifaz who also serves as the chair of the party’s disciplinary committee has alleged that Central Henveiru MP Ali Azim was expelled from the party without consulting with him.

Azim, on Tuesday, was expelled from the party and banned from rejoining the party for at least one year.

The move came after Azim and other MDP lawmakers belonging to 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.

In making their decision, the committee also said any request by Azim to rejoin the party after one year would require the membership forms from 100 new members.

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

He 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.

Enraged over the decision, the committee’s chair Shifaz said action was taken against Azim in violation of the party’s policies. He also alleged that the decision was taken during a convening held without informing him.

“First of all, it is a committee that I should convene. I believe convening without informing me is wrong,” he said.

Shifaz, explaining that disciplinary committee meetings are not initiated through the party’s secretariate but rather by the committee’s chair, said this has been the practice to date.

“Therewith, I absolutely do not believe this was done right,” he added.

However, MDP’s Deputy Chairperson Ibrahim Waheed has denied Shifaz’s accusations. In this regard, he said that committees have separate Whatsapp groups where updates regarding complaints filed with the respective committee and scheduled meetings alongside their agenda are shared. Henceforth, Ibrahim Waheed said Shafraz would have been aware of the meeting.

MDP's Deputy Chairperson Ibrahim Waheed (Iburey) speaks during a press conference. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Shaathiu)

“So I do not believe the claims by the chair of being unaware,” he stressed.

As per MDP’s constitution – the party’s deputy leader is stated as the disciplinary committee’s chair who will oversee and arrange its activities. The complaints submitted to the committee and its meetings will be scheduled by the committee’s chair.

The disagreements between the two factions formed within MDP have been exacerbated by Azim’s expulsion.