Various local media sources have published conflicting reports over the resignation of Dhivehi Qaumy Party (DQP) Parliamentary Group Leader and MP Riyaz Rasheed from the party.
Secretary General of the DQP Abdulla Ameen told local news outlet ‘Sun’ that Riyaz had sent a letter informing the party of his decision to resign.
Newspaper Haveeru also reported that Riyaz had sent a resignation letter to the party.
However, Riyaz told Haveeru that he had not left DQP and that the letter was sent to highlight some of the issues within the party.
During today’s parliament sitting, Riyaz implied that he meant he had left the DQP. After he made the remarks in parliament, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Ali Waheed asked Speaker Abdulla Shahid if Riyaz had left the DQP, to which the Speaker replied that Riyaz had not officially informed parliament of such a move.
Riyaz is known for having a close association with the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) led by Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. Reports on social media suggested that Riyaz was going to leave the DQP to join the PPM. However, these reports were dismissed by Riyaz.
DQP Leader Dr Hassan Saeed, Secretary General Ameen and Riyaz were not responding to calls at time of press.
MP Rasheed earlier this year became known for his criticism of the Commonwealth and Queen Elizabeth.
During a speech on DhiTV in March, he argued that the British public had funded the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) in return for the establishment of churches in the Maldives, and also alleged that the UK hated the Maldives for gaining its independence.
Rasheed went onto criticise Queen Elizabeth stating, “After 50 years, the English Queen, she is physically challenged. But she is still the Queen, and if she wants she can remove the Prime Minister. Where is democracy? Where is democracy? That is not a democracy.”