Maldives' EC to review Gayoom's ruling party ax

Maldives' electoral watchdog on Monday said it would review the ruling party decision to depose its president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

The 80 year old former president Gayoom was unceremoniously ousted from ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) after an ugly falling out with his half brother and incumbent president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom in March last year.

The Civil Court had found Gayoom guilty of violating the constitution, party charter and the political party law and handed-over party control to president Yameen.

During a press conference on Monday, elections commission chief Ahmed Shareef said Gayoom had sent a letter saying that PPM had removed him as president in violation of due procedure.

Shareef said the commission members had decided to accept Gayoom's letter and review his removal from the ruling party.

"We've decided to accept Gayoom's letter and determine if his removal had been in accordance with due procedure as stipulated under the party charter," Shareef told local reporters.

Shareef also refused to recognize president Yameen as the PPM leader insisting that the commission had not endorsed the recent party congress.

PPM had claimed that president Yameen who suffered a rather embarrassing defeat to the opposition alliance candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in last month's presidential elections was voted in as the new leader unanimously by congress members earlier this month.

However, the members of the Elections Commission had refused to endorse the congress citing procedural violations.