As expected, on 16th July, the People’s Alliance (PA) led by former President Gayoom’s half brother Abdulla Yameen formally split from the main opposition coalition of DRP and PA, writes S Chandrasekharan for the Eurasia Review.
“The reasons given were general in nature and these included 1. Failure to take initiative for the making efforts needed to hold the government accountable. 2. The DRP leader Thasmeen Ali did not adequately shoulder responsibility and take the initiative that befits a majority leader and 3. Presence of serious divisions within the DRP and its failure to resolve the dispute as well as splits between DRP members in the Parliament and failure to appropriately embrace the party’s whip line.
The allegations were too general and were only excuses made to get out of the coalition. What Abdulla did not say was that it is being done at the behest of his half brother and former president Gayoom who it appears has finally decided to plunge into “active politics.”
In this process Gayoom ditched his closest ally Thasmeen Ali who was his Home Minister when the former was in power and later his running mate in the Presidential elections. Thasmeen Ali who was elected in the 3rd National Conference of th DRP in 2010 as party leader and fully endorsed by Gayoom had performed well in the parliamentary and the local elections despite the increasing popularity of President Nasheed and his party the MDP.
Soon after on the 21st, a new coalition was formed with the breakaway faction of DRP ( known as Z-DRP- Zaeem DRP), the Jhumhoree party, the People’s Alliance and the DQP. Thus, Thasmeen would lose his position even as “minority leader” of the Majlis.
Gayoom has thus once again taken over the centre stage in Maldivian politics. After getting generous retirement basis it was said that he had given an undertaking that he would retire from active politics.
Now a separate office has been opened for him (said to have been contributed by his friends!) in Male. True to his form he started in grand style in blaming the external factors for the problems faced by his country in Maldives. He did not mention that the present economic problems faced by the current regime are due to profligate spending during his days. His government is said to have left a debt of US dollars 446.5 million.”