EC Pres becomes emotional over ties to MDP

Elections Commission chairman Fuad Thaufeeq. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Elections Commission (EC) President Fuad Thowfeek says he expected MDP to come forth in aiding him during his tribulations.

Fuad made the statement on Monday, March 04, 2024, and said he once viewed the current opposition party as "part of him".

EC was summoned to the Independent Institutions Committee of the parliament on Monday, to question about the preparations for the upcoming parliamentary election. Former Central-Henveiru MP and current The Democrats member Ali Azim said that independent commissions have a history of working in favor of any administration in power.

Azim further said that despite seeking counsel from the parliament, EC had operated against its instructions on multiple occasions previously.

"Discussions with the government is necessary, and monitor if things proceed accordingly. However, we do hope [EC] will not act in any manner that goes against our instructions," Azim said.

Fuad, who became emotional from the MP's statements recalled MDP and Azim's support to him since 2014.

He further said that the Supreme Court held him in contempt of the top court after he refused to adhere to instructions issued by the then administration in 2014. Fuad also said he was given an ultimatum of either jail time for refusal or another year with the EC if complied.

"It was over the possibility that I may refuse, that I had flown abroad back then. Back then, even the parliament acknowledged the top court's decision violated the law, noting a member of an independent commission can be expelled only by the parliament. I had reminded of this at the parliament as well, but to no avail," Fuad said.

While his term was set to conclude by November 2014, he was terminated earlier in April of the same year. Fuad said he requested via letter to the EC to pay him for the remainder of his term, after which the commission wrote to Ministry of Finance to settle his remuneration.

"Finance Ministry has not responded to the said letter till date," Fuad said.

Fuad said he requested for the remuneration from the president during the recent MDP-led administration as well. The president however, said his remuneration could not be settled.

Speaking about the inception of The Democrats, which was found by former MDP members with Mohamed Nasheed at helm, Fuad said that regardless of the dissent, he attempted to expedite the efforts in forming the new party.

"However, three of the commission members had attempted to oust me," he said.

The EC president further said he is aware that MDP had conspired with his colleagues to have him removed from the commission.

While noting Monday's committee meeting session was being recorded, Fuad said he is unfazed to express his opinion about MDP.

"Whether it is an MDP-led goverment, PPM, or PNC, I have not violated the laws and regulations, whether it was on threat or intimidation," Fuad said.

At the committee meeting, Fuad highlighted the lack of security for independent commissions from the influence of political parties, and requested protection for the members employed in them.