Elections Commission (EC) Delays Registration of The Democrats Party

  • Maldives
  • Politics
PUBLISHED 19 June 2023

The Elections Commission (EC) has decided to postpone the registration of The Democrats, a breakaway political party led by Mohamed Nasheed, the president of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP). During a commissioners' meeting, a vote on registering the party resulted in a tie, with two out of the four present commissioners in favor of conducting further checks within the three-month registration period allowed by law.

Following the meeting, party leaders gathered at the EC headquarters to seek clarification on the registration delays. Chairman Fuad Thaufeeg met with the party leaders but failed to provide a decision on their application. The party leaders expressed their dissatisfaction and stated that no issues had arisen with the membership forms submitted by The Democrats.

However, two EC members, Ali Nashath and Mohammed Asif, are opposing the immediate registration of the party, citing the need for additional checks on the membership forms. Fuad and Vice President Ismail Habeeb voted in favor of registering the party on Sunday. Fuad mentioned that Nashath and Asif did not specify the exact details they wished to clarify and left the meeting after shouting. As a result, the vote ended in a tie, leading to the denial of immediate permission to register the party.Out of the five-member commission, four attended the meeting, with one member currently on Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca. Fuad also stated that Nashath and Asif accused him of being influenced by certain individuals.

The Democrats, in their statement, quoted the Elections Commissioner stating that more than 3,000 out of the 3,560 membership applications submitted by the party had been verified and deemed valid. A minimum of 3,000 membership forms is required to establish a political party.

The Democrats had submitted their application for registration on June 1, and the party's leaders have expressed their disappointment with the lack of progress in the registration process.