The political leaders emerged out of the three day All Party Talks without reaching a consensus on the six point-agenda, failing again to achieve a compromise on breaking the political deadlock following the controversial ousting of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) on February 7.
Despite stalling several times due to disagreements over the subject and order of the agenda, the talks began at the Vice President’s Bandos Island Resort with expectation of reaching a consensus on the six-point agenda.
Six items on the agenda are, in order: 1) Discussion on how to solve the problem of public disturbances carried out in the country; 2) Discussion on assessing the state budget situation; 3) Discussion on identifying reforms needed for institutions and independent posts; 4) Discussion on assessing the laws to be amends and new laws to be enacted; 5) Discussion on amendments to the constitution; and 6) Discussion on determining a date for a presidential election.
However after a third day of failed talks with political representatives, Convener Ahmed Mujthaba told media that despite 15 hours of talks split into four meetings, they were only able to discuss the first item of the six-point agenda.
Although 30 points were outlined as measures to end the political disturbances, Mujthaba confirmed that the parties came to “no consensus” during the discussion.
Reportedly, amid heated arguments and intense debates between the pro government and former ruling MDP representatives, discussions ended without progressing to a cross-party agreement on any of the points. Convener Mujthaba reportedly came under verbal attacks as well.
According to newspaper Haveeru, 30 measures proposed by parties to end public disturbances included; “no attacks on public and private property, no attacks on political figures, no sexual transgressions in public parks where a party’s flag is hoisted, no keeping crows or other animals in public places, not hanging swings that block the pavements, not prevent anyone from coming ashore on any island, not holding political activities on roads and pavements, not participating in protests while intoxicated, not stymieing the work of the parliament, not using children or logos of a foreign body in a political protest, not spreading exaggerated or false reports through media outlets, not using loud speakers during peaceful and street protests, obeying court orders and not holding street rallies.”
MDP spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor told Minivan News that the party was requested to cease practicing black magic and other malicious forms of sorcery against other parties at the talks.
“I think that some people involved are now playing a hoax. It is hard to believe that the regime is lowering itself to this level. It is both pointless and irrelevant,” he claimed. “It is notable that figures such as former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom are very superstitious.”
At a press conference held this afternoon police displayed what they alleged to be items used for black magic by MDP protesters at the party camp site Usfasgandu. A female activist was also arrested on suspicion of sorcery.
The President Office and pro government party representatives have not responded to calls from Minivan News at the time of press.
However, representative of the coalition Jumhooree Party and President’s Office Spokesperson Abbas Adil Riza blamed MDP for the outcome of the talks in local media.
“We proposed against stymieing of political activities and visits to the islands. But MDP was unwilling to agree. If they had done so, the outcome could have been much different,” Riza told Haveeru.
However, Riza stopped short from calling the talks a failure stating that the drafting and discussion on the 30 points itself is a “major achievement”.
Mujthaba noted that the “results are not bad considering the current political climate.”
The next round of talks will be scheduled after discussions with the parties and will continue from the first point ofnthe agenda.