Elections Commission of Maldives notified the parliament of the removal of three key lawmakers from their respective political parties on Wednesday.
The three parliamentarians are Hinnavaru MP Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Galolhu North MP Eva Abdulla of main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), and Kaashidhoo MP Faisal Naseem of government aligned Jumhooree Party. Ibrahim and Eva are both prominent MDP members and two of the first to join the party.
According to Ahmed Akram of the Elections Commission, the three lawmakers were removed from the updated party registers as they had not submitted their fingerprints for party registration within the one month period granted by the commission.
The Elections Commission had provided a deadline until October 12 for members of political parties, who had registered before the Political Parties Act came into effect, to submit their fingerprints. The Political Parties Act first came into effect in 2013, though it did not stipulate then for members, who had registered prior to the Act, to submit their fingerprints for registration. The Elections Commissions had made the amendment to the Act last year, stating that members without fingerprint registration will be removed from the parties.
Mihaaru understands that the Elections Commission’s president Ahmed Sulaiman explained in his letter to the parliament that the three lawmakers in question had not completed their required information as stipulated in the newly amended Political Parties Act, thus leading to their removal.
With the implementation of the Election Commission’s amendment, MDP has lost half of its members. Previously the largest political party in the Maldives, MDP numbers have dropped from 46,000 to 27,000. Currently, the largest party in the Maldives is ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) with 37,000 members.