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Cannot de-authorize PNC over usage of PPM assets: committee

31 January 2019, MVT 09:15
ELECTIONS COMMISSION / LAWYER MAHFOOZ
31 January 2019, MVT 09:15

The committee established to investigate the authorisation of People’s National Congress (PNC), declared on Wednesday that the party's licence could not be revoked despite clear proof that resources of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) were used in its formative process.

The Elections Commission (EC) set up the independent committee after a PPM member filed a complaint claiming that PNC was established using the assets and resources of PPM.

In a press conference held Wednesday, lawyer Mahfooz Saeed of the committee confirmed that it was clear that PPM assets were utilised in the creation of PNC. According to Mahfooz, the application to create the party was filled and other activities were carried out in PPM’s office.

Despite the evidence, the committee concluded that they could not revoke PNC's authorisation since the amendment to the Political Parties Act, which prohibited the action, was made following the establishment of the new party.

The amendment states that the permit issued to create a new political party could be taken away if it were established using the resources and members of existing parties.

“The permits to establish PNC and hold the party's convening meeting were issued before the amendment was made to the regulation. I don't believe any action can be taken for event transpired prior [to the amendment],” Mahfooz said.

The committee also advised members of the Election Commission that the permit to form PNC could not be annulled.

Since the formation of a party via the use of an existing party’s assets and resources could diminish the character of general members, a solution should be sought and imposed from the law, EC was advised.

PNC was formed by close aides of former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, over the leadership dispute case of PPM which is still ongoing at the Supreme Court.

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