The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has announced that members who worked against former President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, preventing a second term victory for the party’s current interim leader, will not be allowed to contest in the party’s primaries.

There are some who are MDP members [working with other parties] without our knowledge. They have campaigned against our presidential candidate [Solih]. They will be disqualified [from contesting in the primary].

MDP Deputy Chairperson, Ibrahim Waheed, explaining to reporters the party’s decision to disqualify certain listed members from participating in the Parliamentary Primaries

Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, Waheed pointed out that it is not known why those who worked against Solih during the presidential campaign are still on the Elections Commission (EC)’s register as MDP members. Even if they are on the register, such members will not be given the opportunity to contest the parliamentary primary, he said.

He said that as per the party charter, no member can act against the party’s presidential candidate, noting that the constitution provides for the expulsion of such members from the party.

“We have not been able to resolve it administratively, so they are staying as members [on the EC registry for now],” Waheed said.

“Those contesting the primaries will need to meet the requirements of a Member of Parliament (MP) as stipulated in the Maldives’ Constitution,” Waheed said, highlighting that they would be vetted by having their criminal record checked.

In addition, the extent of their contributions to the party, the length of time served with the party and ethical standards set out in the charter will be considered, Waheed highlighted.

The MDP on Thursday announced that the party’s parliamentary primaries will be held on 26 and 27 January, with internal party registrations open until 25 December.