An issue has come to light where the names and personal information of some key opposition members and those of coalition partner Jumhooree Party were included in the membership registry of main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).
Former Secretary General of opposing Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) Dr. Abdulla Khaleel took to popular social media platform Twitter on Sunday to reveal that his name was on the membership registry of MDP. This shows that MDP was misusing the database of the Department of National Registration (DNR), accused Khaleel.
Former Milandhoo MP Hassan Mufeed, who is also a member of the opposition tweeted a screenshot of his name appearing on the MDP membership registry. He said using his personal information without his permission was a criminal offense and that such it is unacceptable that one has to send a letter requesting to remove them from the registry after such deplorable acts.
Former Dhidhdhoo MP Abdul Latheef's name also appeared on the MDP registry, as well as that of Thimarafushi MP from Jumhooree Party, Abdulla Riyaz.
While MDP has come under fire over the issue, many speculate that the issue is somehow linked to the upcoming MDP primary ahead of the local council election. It could be a strategy for electoral fraud, it has been said. The opposition continues to claim that registering people to a political party without their permission is an unlawful act being committed by misusing state resources.
A person's name and information is usually added to the registry of a political party when a membership form is submitted to the party office with details that match the information on the national identity card. Sometimes, the parties call the applicants to verify before accepting the membership form.
Many people have joined political parties in scores in the past just ahead of party primaries. While over 30,000 new members registered to MDP ahead of the 2018 parliamentary elections, it is unknown if an incident where the name of an opposition member appeared in the party registry occurred in the past. MDP has not made a comment on the issue. The party's primary is slated for 31st January.