Main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) last Tuesday called its supporters via Twitter to gather in front of Police Headquarters in capital Male as prominent activist Naeema Mohamed – colloquially known as ‘Naeemaatha’ – was being summoned for questioning after being briefly arrested from a protest.
The Elections Commission (EC) has since fined the party for being in contravention of the Political Parties Act, and gave the party a seven-day ultimatum to pay the hefty fine of MVR 60,000.
EC alleged that it had warned MDP not to call on its supporters to gather in front of the police headquarters before as well. Further, EC claimed it had sent a letter to MDP in April, warning the party of potential action if it continued to call on its supporters to rally in green-zones where protesting is not allowed.
The commission had found MDP’s call to gather in front of the police headquarters to be a violation of the freedom of assembly act as well, it claimed.
The tweet in question was sent by MDP Secretariat’s official Twitter account on August 15.
However, the party’s Secretary General Anas Abdul Sattar denied sending out any such tweets and said that they do not know which tweet EC is referring to.
“We are yet to receive the money allocated for political parties from the state budget, and now we get slapped with this heavy fine,” Abdul Sattar said in response to EC’s letter.
The area near the police headquarters, including the Republic Square is a green-zone; the closest area where protesters are allowed to gather is in front of the central bank, Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA).
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Source URL: Mihaaru-News