High Court rejects Gayoom’s appeal to return ruling party control

PPM leader Gayoom chairs a council meeting. MIHAARU PHOTO/MOHAMED SHARUHAAN

PPM leader Gayoom chairs a council meeting. MIHAARU PHOTO/MOHAMED SHARUHAAN

The High Court rejected Wednesday the appeal filed by Ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM)’s leader and former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom to reverse the lower court’s verdict that he hand over party control to his half-brother and incumbent president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.

The High Court’s registrar Hassan Ali told Gayoom in writing that as the court has already passed a just verdict for the same lawsuit, Gayoom’s case cannot be accepted.

Gayoom had appealed the Civil Court’s verdict at the High Court on October 20. However, another member of PPM had privately appealed the case before Gayoom, which the appeal court had accepted and announced its verdict last Sunday.

Following the ugly public fall-out between the elder Gayoom and President Yameen, which had divided PPM into two factions, the civil lawsuit accusing Gayoom of violating the party charter and impeding its effective functioning was filed by Hulhudhoo MP Mohamed Shahid and Naifaru MP Ahmed Shiyam, two lawmakers loyal to president Yameen. It was then appealed at the High Court by individual PPM member Abbas Wafir, who is said to be another Yameen loyalist.

The High Court judges had unanimously concurred that the Civil Court’s verdict warrants no further changes, and upheld the lower court’s verdict.

Prior to the verdict, High Court Chief Judge Abdullah Didi declared that Gayoom had clearly objected to party council meetings as mandated by its charter but had failed to provide appropriate justification for it. As Gayoom’s actions impede party functioning while PPM’s vice president Abdul Raheem Abdullah had been recently removed from his post, Chief Judge Abdullah had stated that handing over party control to President Yameen, the founder of PPM, is in the best interest of the public.

Meanwhile, Gayoom has appealed the aid of the Human Rights Commission, the Elections Commission and the Attorney General for his case this week, declaring that his removal from position as the democratically elected leader of PPM without the members’ consent violated the party charter, Political Parties Act and PPM members’ suffrage.

Noting that conflicts had arisen within PPM due to President Yameen receiving the elections ticket without a primary which some members of PPM feel is a violation of its charter, Gayoom elaborated that the party adviser is a symbolic position without active roles in party management or policy determination as stated in the charter. Hence, he declared that Yameen’s takeover of PPM under the lower court’s verdict is another violation of PPM’s charter.

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