Z-DRP, DQP condemn Thasmeen for meeting President Nasheed

The main opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party’s (DRP) breakaway Z-faction along with coalition partner Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) has condemned DRP Leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali for meeting President Mohamed Nasheed Saturday night.

Speaking at a press conference the following day, DRP Deputy Leader Ilham Ahmed claimed that “because Thasmeen has millions of rufiya worth of loans owed to Bank of Maldives as well as other pressures,” the minority leader was “making deals with the government.”

“What we were saying is now becoming very clear to the public,” he said, referring to the Z-faction’s allegations of Thasmeen and Speaker Abdulla Shahid accepting US$1 million bribes from Indian infrastructure giant GMR.

DQP Secretary General Abdulla Ameen meanwhile told local media that the opposition leader meeting President Nasheed was “unacceptable” as it could be construed as an endorsement of the proposed economic reform agenda.

Ameen argued that discussions over the proposed reforms should have taken place much earlier.

“I don’t see any need for meeting the opposition leader after the reforms were planned and finalised and a ceremony held to announce [the reforms],” Ameen told Haveeru.

Thasmeen however told press outside the President’s Office after the meeting that he met the President to voice concerns about the economic reform bills currently before parliament, including planned expenditure growth for 2013 and the personal income tax.

Following the meeting, President Nasheed signaled the government’s willingness to address DRP concerns and incorporate changes in the relevant legislation before enactment into law.