The High Court on Monday threw out the case filed by main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), against the Elections Commission for abolishing the party’s initial candidacy list for the Local Council Elections, as MDP did not show up for the hearing.
Initially 900 candidates had applied to run in the local elections while it was scheduled for January 14. However, as the Civil Court had ordered to delay the election by two months, the EC had eventually announced that all candidates should reapply for the elections, now scheduled for April 8.
MDP had gone to court, declaring that EC’s decision to abolish the candidacy list violates the Elections Act and infringes the rights of 500 party members.
However, MDP’s lawyer had not been present at the hearing scheduled for Monday afternoon. Consequently, the High Court dismissed the case, stating that the party will not be allowed to file the case again.
The party’s legal representative at the court hearings for this case is its Secretary General, Lawyer Anas Abdul Sattar. However, he had departed for Sri Lanka on Sunday to participate in MDP’s meetings with exiled Former President Mohamed Nasheed.
Judge Ali Sameer, who was presiding over the case, stated that as MDP has not submitted a reason for the absence of their representative, the case will be regarded as dropped by the plaintiff, as stated under the High Court’s regulations.
The case is being thrown out over MDP’s absence at a time when the Elections Commissions’ advocate from the Prosecutor General’s Office had raised a procedural issue stating that the High Court is not entitled to carry out proceedings of the case during the last hearing. Monday’s hearing had been scheduled for MDP to respond to the issue.