Deputy leader of the ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) Ahmed Adeeb has threatened to sue former coalition partner Jumhooree Party (JP) for intent to sue MPs who switched from the JP to PPM.
Three JP MPs crossed the floor to PPM after a coalition agreement fell apart after JP leader Gasim Ibrahim contested for the speakership of the People’s Majlis against PPM candidate Abdulla Maseeh.
The JP last week said MPs had signed an agreement swearing in the name of Allah to remain faithful to the party and said it will consider a lawsuit for breaching the agreement. The party also said PPM had bribed and coerced MPs into switching parties.
In response, Adeeb told local news agency Haveeru that the PPM will counter any lawsuits, arguing that the agreements are unconstitutional.
“JP cannot make agreements in a manner that deprives members of their constitutional rights. Even our 43 members are not serving under any agreements. So they cannot take an agreement that is against the Constitution to court, they cannot even take away their parliamentary seats,” said Adeeb.
Allegations of bribery are baseless, Adeeb said claiming the JP was attempting to intimidate MPs.
Gasim had sent text messages to the three MPs regarding the funds spent on their campaign in an attempt to intimidate them, he said.
“I advise him to stop threatening members of PPM. Even Ilham [Dhangethi constituency MP Ilham Ahmed] switched to JP after being elected to the post of our party’s deputy leader. We did not run after him. That is because changing political ideologies is a right that members have,” he stated.
Parliamentarians Hassan Mufeed Abdul Gadhir, Mohamed Abdulla and Hassan Areef switched to PPM after being elected as JP members.
Following the changes, JP alleged that the PPM is offering “unattainably high financial and material incentives” to members.