The Democrats have occupied main office and damaged property: MDP

MDP campaign banner hanging outside the office being removed after The Democrats were handed over the keys to the premise. | Photo: Fayaz Moosa

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has said that The Democrats have ‘occupied’ their main office in Malé City and will file a complaint with the relevant authorities to take action against those involved.

The owner of the land where MDP office was located t today handed over the keys of the building to former STO Managing Director Hussain Amru, who is also a senior member of The Democrats.

The Democrats then removed the poster of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih from outside the office and began to vacate the area.

The Democrats’ office was opened while MDP filed a case in the Civil Court after the owner ordered the MDP to vacate the premises by the end of the month. The owner also said that the premises has now been rented to another businessman.

In a statement, the MDP said that there was an ”verbal” agreement to conduct activities until the end of this year’s presidential election with the land owner.

“The landlord has acted in violation of the agreement. This party had filed a case in the Civil Court to protect its rights under the agreement and before the court decided, some people entered the office and occupied it and damaged the property of the party,” the MDP said in their statement.

MDP had previously filed a petition in the court asking the court to allow the party to stay in the office until July to arrange another place to conduct its political activities.

The owner of the land, which used to run the MDP headquarters, is former party activist Shafiyya Zubair. The party office was ordered to be vacated on the last day of March after two factions formed within the MDP.

She told reporters yesterday evening that the agreement with MDP has expired and the property has now been leased to a businessman. The businessman had rented the place with a sublease clause included so that others could rent it from him.

According to Shafiyya, the MDP pays MVR 60,000 per month as rent. MDP has also sent the rent for this month but the money will be refunded after deducting the amount of unpaid utility bills by MDP, she said.

Shafiyya did not name the businessman, but it is known that it is Hussain Amru, who is involved in the forming the Democrats. Shafiyya has also handed over the keys to the premise.

Amru later opened the office and began work on the Democrats’ office. They also removed the campaign posters of the MDP presidential candidate and began to paint over the yellow walls of the office.

Apart from Nasheed, members of the MDP belonging to the “Fikurehge dhirun” left MDP last Wednesday, following which they also announced that they had decided to form a new party.

Twelve members of the Nasheed faction decided to leave the MDP last week after the party’s action committee decided to expel Ali Azim from the party.

Azim was taken to task for his involvement in the opposition’s efforts to file a no-confidence motion against MDP-affiliated Attorney General Ibrahim Rifath. Azim has signed the resolution which has been introduced in parliament.

Although Nasheed’s supporters are leaving the party, Nasheed remained in the party. Nasheed has not yet announced his reason for staying in the party.