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Nasheed signs up supporters for ‘Fikuregge Dhirun’ branch

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Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) leader Mohamed Nasheed, who recently lost the party’s presidential primary, has begun signing up people to secure support for the formation of a separate branch within the party under the name ‘Fikuregge Dhirun’.

Following the election defeat to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Nasheed said he does not believe President Solih could win the presidential election for MDP. He is working on creating a branch of his supporters, and launching a separate political movement within the party itself.

Nasheed’s campaign team is gathering signatures of people who support the formation of ‘Fikuregge Dhirun’. The activities are being attended by Nasheed himself.

However, Nasheed’s campaign team isn’t using the branch formation request form issued by MDP. The address listed in the forms is his own address, G. Kenereege, and the forms are being filled and collected at his campaign office.

Central Maafannu MP Ibrahim Rasheed (Bonde), a leading figure in the ‘Fikuregge Dhirun’ campaign, told Sun on Thursday that the forms were being used to collect information on people who wish to join the branch before they submit an official form with MDP.

“Given the rigging of membership register and stuff, we will take this to party headquarters after everything is arranged,” he said.

Following his election defeat, Nasheed said he wanted to form a separate branch and that a presidential candidate the branch would support would be decided later.

However, according to MDP’s constitution, the party’s branches are an organ based on a unified political ideology. The constitution also prohibits the party’s members from working against its presidential candidate.

Source(s): sun.mv

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ACC probes corruption claims involving ex-MPs and ministers

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The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has opened an investigation into allegations of corruption involving several former parliamentarians and government ministers.

A spokesperson from the ACC told Sun on Thursday said the case involves deposits made from state-owned enterprises to companies they own stakes in.

The ACC said that it recently received complaints regarding the case.

However, the spokesperson declined to disclose any details regarding the investigation.

The investigation comes with Maldives set to elect the next parliamentary assembly on March 17. A number of incumbent and former parliamentarians are contesting the election.

Source(s): sun.mv

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MDP submits an anti-defection bill

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The main opposition MDP says it has submitted an anti-defection bill to prevent floor crossing, but was facing challenges in pushing the legislature through.

In a press briefing on Thursday evening, MDP’s parliamentary group leader, Mohamed Rasheed Hussain (Bigey) told reporters that the bill was submitted to the Parliament by Baarah MP Ahmed Abdulla. But he did not specify when it was submitted.

According to Bigey, the bill was submitted due to great public concern over cases of floor crossing.

“But we have been unable to push this through to the Parliament floor due to various reasons. The Parliament’s secretariat has yet to facilitate this opportunity,” said Bigey, who represents the Alifushi constituency.

MDP’s legal director Hisaan Hussain, who represents the Thulhaadhoo constituency in the Parliament, told reporters that the bill submitted by MDP is different from the anti-defection legislature which was passed, and then later repealed by the PPM administration in 2018.

Hisaan said the previous legislature disqualified lawmakers who are expelled by their parties.

“Even back then, we said it cannot be done that way. Even political parties must not have such great power over a lawmaker and the chance to abuse that power,” she said.

Hisaan said the greatest difference with MDP’s bill is that it requires lawmakers elected on party tickets to resign if they voluntarily leave the party.

Secondly, lawmakers who are expelled from their party will be subjected to a recall vote – which will be held by the Elections Commission (EC).

“After a recall referendum, if the constituents decide they do not want the lawmaker to represent the seat, then the lawmaker will be required to resign from the Parliament,” she said.

She, too, said the MDP face facing challenges in scheduling the bill.

She added that the Parliament’s secretariate still had the same top officials who were there when the previous anti-defection legislature was submitted and passed.

Hisaan did not elaborate on the challenges the MDP if facing in pushing the legislature through, but said that the speaker and deputy speaker – both of whom belong to the MDP – are working on resolving the issue.

The previous anti-defection legislature was formulated in response to a Supreme Court ruling in July 2017, in which the top court established that lawmakers would lose their seat if they left or were expelled the party they were elected from, or if they switched parties. The ruling, which contentiously stripped the seats of a dozen lawmakers who left the then-ruling PPM, called for the formulation of anti-defection legislature.

The bill was submitted by the then-PPM parliamentary group leader Ahmed Nihan Hussain Manik in March 2018. But the bill was repealed in November 2018.

Source(s): sun.mv

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Chinese envoy: Immediate ceasefire in Gaza is the universal call

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A Chinese envoy said Thursday that an immediate ceasefire in Gaza is the universal call of the international community and the overwhelming consensus of Council members.

Two days ago, the Council once again missed an opportunity to push for a ceasefire in Gaza because of the veto of an Algerian-drafted resolution by the United States, said Zhang Jun, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, stressing that “the realization of an immediate ceasefire in Gaza is an urgent requirement to save innocent lives and to prevent a wider war.”

The envoy said that China has noted that the U.S. has introduced a new draft resolution and hopes that the United States will adopt a responsible attitude, and respect the established consensus of the members of the Security Council.

The core of the Council’s action must be the immediate realization of a ceasefire, and the relevant signals must be clear, unambiguous and unmistakable, rather than evasive and covert, he told the Security Council.

“What the Council needs at this time is strong determination, not just negotiating skills,” Zhang emphasized.

Zhang also pointed out that China is gravely concerned by the recent repeated public dismissal of the two-state solution by some Israeli politicians and their rejection of any international effort toward independent Palestinian statehood.

Noting that “Gaza is an inalienable part of Palestine, and the two-state solution is the bottom line of international justice and the only viable path toward the settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli issue,” he said that China urges Israel to stop without delay eroding the foundation of the two-state solution, “halt the forced displacement of Palestinian civilians, and cease the searches, arrests, and raids in the West Bank.”

The historical wrongs suffered by Palestine must be righted. Palestine’s aspiration for independent statehood must be fulfilled. China supports Palestine in becoming a member of the United Nations as soon as possible, and calls for the convening of a larger, more authoritative, and more effective international peace conference to push for a comprehensive, just, and lasting solution to the question of Palestine, he said.

Source(s): sun.mv

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