The members who have defected from the MDP recently submitted an application to establish their new party “The Democrats”. Hassan Latheef, the former Chairperson of MDP, handed over the application to Ismail Habeeb, the Vice President of the Elections Commission of the Maldives (ECM), in the presence of 12 parliamentarians, as well as some local council members and mayors. Latheef expressed his intention to commence the party formation process once he receives permission, adding that a candidate will be nominated to participate in the upcoming presidential election.
Under the provisions of the Political Parties Act, the ECM is required to decide whether to grant permission for the formation of a political party within seven days of receiving the application. Ismail Habeeb stated that a decision will be reached during a meeting scheduled for May 24.
The MDP, which is currently the main ruling party, faces an additional blow with the announcement made by its President, Mohamed Nasheed. Nasheed, who also serves as the Speaker of Parliament, declared his decision to establish a new political party. This move came as a result of his defeat in the presidential primary held in January. Nasheed initiated a separate political movement within the MDP called Fikuregge Dhirun. Moreover, lawmakers from this faction resigned from the MDP after Ali Azim, a Parliamentarian, was expelled from the party and prohibited from rejoining for at least one year due to his involvement in opposition political activities related to the Chagos Islands dispute.