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Republican Party (Political party, Maldives)

Last modified: 2019-10-28 by ivan sache
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Flag of the Republican Party - Image by Ivan Sache, 5 August 2019

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Presentation of the Republican Party

The Republican Party (website) was established in 2008 by Qasim Ibrahim (b. 1950) aka Buruma Qasim.
Qasim founded in 1986 Villa Shipping and Trading Company Pvt. Ltd, the Maldives largest private conglomerate company. Ibrahim is the chairman, and largest shareholder of Villa Group, and is one of the wealthiest businessmen in the country. He does his philanthropic activity through Villa Foundation, a philanthropic organization, which helps Maldivians with health and educational difficulties by offering medical assistance and scholarships.

Ibrahim was first elected as a Member of Parliament in 1989. In 2008, Ibrahim ranked 4th (15.3% of the votes) in the first multi-party elections ever organized in the Maldives. He joined the MDP-led coalition in the second round helping Mohamed Nasheed to secure a historic victory and bring an end to the thirty-year one-man rule of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. Ibrahim initially joined President Nasheed's government as Minister for Home Affairs but resigned 20 days later, citing indifferences in governing policies, especially in relation to Mr. Nasheed's privatization policies. He since became a vocal opposition to Mr. Nasheed's government and is accused of having funded the anti-Nasheed protests that began in early 2012, ultimately leading to his resignation, after pressure from mutinying police and the army on 7 February 2012.
Ibrahim ran as the presidential candidate of the Republican Party in the 2013 elections, ranking 3rd (23.4% of the votes) in the first round.

The Republican Party secured one seat (4.22% of the votes) in the 2009 parliamentary election. The party's representation increased to 15 seats (13.6% of the votes) in 2014 but fell down to 5 seats (11.2% of the votes) in 2019.

Ivan Sache, 5 August 2019

Flag of the Republican Party

The flag of the Republican Party (photo, photo, photo, photo) is red with a white star placed on a green disc surrounded by a red ring fimbriated in white.

The flag and logo of the party were adopted on 22 June 2018 during the party's 3rd National Congress held at Paradise Island Resort.
The new symbols were approved on 11 June 2018 by the Elections Commission.
[VNews, 22 June 2018; Raajje, 23 June 2018; The Edition, 12 June 2018]

Darrell Neuman & Ivan Sache, 5 August 2019

Former flag of the Republican Party

Flag         Flag

Former flag of the Republican Party, horizontal and vertical versions - Images by Ivan Sache, 5 August 2019

The first flag of the Republican Party (photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo), adopted in 2008 when the party was established, was red with a green disc charged with a white crescent and star.

The flag was banned in June 2207 by the Elections Commission, who ordered the party to stop its use. The Commission pointed out that the party's logo closely matches the seal of the President of the Republic and so the party has been asked to change their logo on a previous occasion as well. Since the logo was not changed in the duration given, the use of the logo has been banned starting today according to the letter from the Elections Commission.
The Commission made the ruling under the Regulation for the use of the national flag. The Regulation published in the State gazette on 9 March 2017 states that the flag of the President contains a five-pointed star inside the crescent moon of the national flag. Flags or logos with similar design are not permitted.
The party had lodged a case at the Civil Court seeking to annul EC's order banning the use of the party's flag and logo.
The party, upon having ordered to halt the use of a flag and logo they had been using since 2005, had refused to obey, having stated that such an order cannot be issued by the EC. One year later, the party required the Supreme Court to inquire on Civil Court's delay in issuing a verdict, to no avail.
[Sun Media, 4 June 2017; , 16 June 2018]

The 2017 Regulations was abolished on 17 February 2019 by the Home Ministry.
Enacted in March 2017, the regulations prohibited flying another flag higher than the national flag. But the flag of an independent state was allowed to be flown alongside the Maldivian national flag at the same height.
The use of flags or symbols identical to the president's flag was prohibited.
The 13-point regulation also required permission from the Home Ministry before erecting the national flag on private premises. If a member of the public or a political party is authorized to do so, the flag must be hoisted down after 6:00 pm.

Shortly after the rules came into force, police removed the national flag from the office of former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom (Maldives Independent, 12 March 2017) and the Elections Commission banned the use of the Republican Party flag – which depicts a white crescent moon and star in a green circle with a red border – as it resembled the official standard of the presidency (Maldives Independent, 6 June 2017).
The ban prompted a legal challenge from the then-opposition party.

During last year's presidential campaign, police officers removed a Republican Party flag hoisted on the 12th floor of a house in Malé (Maldives Independent, 23 August 2018). Police entered the Asdhoo house without a court warrant to remove the flag “because it was hoisted too high.” (Twitter, 21 August 2018).
In March last year, police conducted operations to remove Maldivian Democratic Party flags that were raised higher than the national flag on several islands (Maldives Independent, 22 March 2018).
Photos and videos of a policeman climbing a 50-foot flagpole on Manadhoo island went viral on social networks.
A few days later, police officers were ridiculed for seeking the help of an expatriate to climb a 115-feet tall banyan tree and take down an MDP flag on the island of Bileiyfahi (Maldives Independent, 18 February 2019).

Ivan Sache, 5 August 2019