The religious conservative Adhaalath Party has issued a statement reaffirming its support for the governing coalition.
President Abdulla Yameen formed a coalition government in November after securing a second round victory with the support of the Jumhooree Party (JP), the Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) and the Adhaalath Party.
According to local media, Yameen’s Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) had promised a 33 percent stake in government and a 35 percent share in upcoming local council and parliamentary elections to the Jumhooree Party. The JP’s decision to support the Yameen after its candidate’s defeat in the first round of the election proved decisive.
However, while PPM and JP appear to be contesting elections as a team, the Adhaalath Party had previously announced it will field candidates for both elections separately. Speaking to the press in November, Adhaalath said it will contest 104 of the 1118 local council seats and 32 of the 84 parliamentary seats.
According to the Adhaalath Party, it’s statement comes in response to rumors the party had left the coalition.
“The Adhaalath party fully supports the government. The party is still with the coalition,” the statement read
Moreover, the party said it is currently working with the coalition to field candidates for the upcoming elections.
“The Adhaalth Party wishes to work with the coalition in the local council and parliamentary elections. The party is doing lots of work in this regard,” read the statement.
Meanwhile, former President Mohamed Nasheed of the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has repeatedly said a coalition government will not work in the Maldives’ presidential system of government.
Nasheed came to power in 2008, defeating 30-year authoritarian leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom with the backing of a coalition of parties including the JP, the DQP and the Adhaalath Party.
However, within a month, the JP left the Nasheed administration. The coalition fell apart and the parties fielded separate seats for parliamentary elections in May 2009 resulting in a majority for Gayoom’s party at the time – the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party.
In February 2012, the JP, DQP and Adhaalath Party joined Gayoom’s newly established PPM in ousting Nasheed.
Speaking to the media on November 30, Nasheed said: “We have received 105,000 votes [in the second round of presidential polls] because we say we do not want to divide the cabinet, because we say we do not want to divide up the government.”