Deputy minister becomes latest DRP withdrawal from government

Deputy Minister for Economic Development Shiham Mohamed Waheed has become the latest Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) member to withdraw from the government since the delay of Saturday’s presidential election.

Party leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali on Saturday evening declared that the DRP council had decided to withdraw after “expressing discontent over Government’s actions in election related matters.”

Shiham follows Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hassan Saeed, who resigned yesterday citing the same reasons.

In a parting shot, Hassan Saeed told local media that the government had obstructed the election, criticising in particular the new requirement for foreign observers and journalists to obtain special visas and Foreign Ministry approval before entering the country.

Sun Online has also reported that DRP member and Chairman of Maldives Post Limited Ahmed Nizam has also resigned.

After forming a coalition with incumbent President Dr Mohamed Waheed for the first round of the election – in which Waheed received only five percent of the vote –  the DRP quickly switched allegiances to the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) candidate Mohamed Nasheed going into the second round.

The DRP’s decision was quickly followed by the dismissal of State Minister for Health Ali Shareef, allegedly for his role in his party’s decision to back Nasheed.

After the annulment of the first round, DRP leader Thasmeen maintained that his party’s supporters should back the MDP candidate in subsequent poll.