Dissenting opinion in unity government coalition over MDP role in government

Speaking to Minivan News today, Chairperson of Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) Moosa Manik said that at Leaders’ Dialogue meeting held Sunday he had requested for two points to be added to the discussion agenda.

“According to the CNI report, this is a continuation of the government elected in 2008. Since it was MDP that was elected in 2008, we must be in government even now,” said Moosa.

“So I requested that we add to the agenda discussions over the participation of the MDP in the government elected in 2008. On these same grounds, I also requested we add to the agenda discussions to clarify whether MDP represents the ruling party, or the opposition in parliament.”

While Moosa Manik stated that the requests made were only to add discussions on the topic to the agenda, local media has reported that the party has proposed the MDP itself be included in the government. The news caused an eruption of differing views among the former opposition parties.

In a press briefing held after Sunday’s meeting, the President’s Advisor on Political Affairs, Ahmed Thaufeeq, said that he welcomed the MDP’s proposition. Thaufeeq said he felt it was a wise step to take in strengthening the unity government. He did, however, say that the matter had to be discussed among the parties currently in the coalition before coming to a decision.

Meanwhile, President’s Office Media Secretary Masood Imad told Minivan News today that there was no way all political parties could be part of a government in a modern democracy.

“If the MDP is allowed to join the government, then who will be the opposition? We need a viable opposition for the government to function. MDP is continuing to create havoc through protests and calling the government traitors. The best option for them is to continue staying as a viable and legal opposition,” Masood said.

He said it was so far unclear whether MDP wanted to show support to the government by ending the ongoing protests while staying on as opposition, or if they wanted seats in the cabinet.

Secretary General of Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP), Abdulla Ameen, told Minivan News that he was completely against the proposition. Alleging that MDP had failed to live up to its promises of 2008, Ameen said, “Dr Waheed very sincerely invited them to join the government previously, but they themselves rejected it. The MDP are still calling us ‘baaghi’ (traitor), so why should we let them into the government? Also, this proposition may have come from ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik, and not necessarily from the party itself.”

Although Ameen stated that the party had not agreed on an official position on the issue yet, Vice President of DQP and current Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Mohamed Jameel, also told local media that he felt there was no justification to allow MDP into the government coalition.

On the other hand, Deputy Leader of the Jumhoree Party (JP) and Parliament Member for Kashidhoo Constituency, Abdulla Jabir, is of the opinion that MDP’s initiative would translate into a means of maintaining peace in a country as small as the Maldives.

“I would personally welcome the initiative, and the members of MDP, into the government. However, the JP hasn’t yet discussed the issue within the party,” he said.

Contrary to Jabir’s views, JP Leader Gasim Ibrahim and President Dr Ibrahim Didi – himself formerly President of the MDP – oppose the suggestion of MDP’s involvement in the government.

According to Sun Online, Dr Didi doubted the sincerity of the MDP’s proposition and stated that it is important to further look into the matter to see if it involves any “treacherous plans” of former President and MDP Presidential Candidate, Mohamed Nasheed. Gasim alleged that Nasheed had caused “immense loss to the country”, and that this had to be kept in mind when reviewing MDP’s request.

People’s Alliance MP Moosa Zameer told Minivan News that the party had no reservations about letting MDP into the current government coalition. He went on to say: “If Dr Waheed feels it is best to let MDP in, then we have no issues. However, we hope he will consider the fact that the bigger the government gets, the more complications will arise. There will be another election in 2013. Waheed very strongly wants a free and fair election. I feel that it can only go in a transparent manner which is to the satisfaction of all parties only if MDP too has a stake in the government.”

DRP MP Dr Abdulla Mausoom told Minivan News that the party felt discussions in the Leaders’ Dialogue should only be shared with media by its coordinators. Regarding former President Nasheed’s statement that PPM and DRP should not be part of the current government, Mausoom said “We do not think it is worth responding to statements by people who hold no official position in MDP. Former President Nasheed holds no post in MDP’s leadership and cannot speak in its behalf. We will respond only if MDP releases a former statement regarding the matter.”

PPM Parliamentary Group Leader Abdulla Yameen has been quoted in local media as saying that letting MDP join the government is not a problem ‘in principle’, but that the general members of his party are strongly against the idea.

MDP Chairperson ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik clarified to Minivan News today that MDP had so far only accepted the CNI report along with the reservations put forward by former President Mohamed Nasheed’s nominee, Ahmed Saeed ‘Gahaa’. Moosa Manik also echoed former President Nasheed’s statement that if, according to the CNI, this is the 2008 government being continued, then he felt that the DRP and PPM should not at all be in the government coalition.

The Qaumee Party, Adhaalath Party, Jumhoree Party and Gaumee Ihthihaadh were in the 2008 coalition with MDP, while DRP, PPM and PA were in opposition.

MDP meanwhile confirms that it will continue the ongoing protests asking for early elections.

Interim Deputy Leader of PPM, Umar Naseer and Spokesperson and MP Ahmed Mahloof were not responding to calls at time of press.

Minister of Home Affairs and Vice President of Jumhooree Party Dr Mohamed Jameel and DRP Leader Thasmeen Ali were also not responding to calls.


14 thoughts on “Dissenting opinion in unity government coalition over MDP role in government”

  1. Masood Imad, the oppositions should be the political parties who were not elected as part of the 2008 coalition government. That means DRP and PPM. It's very clear, since the CONI Report has confirmed that this is not a coup, then the 2008 elections have to be respected and if the government is not going to hold any early elections on Constitutional grounds well then on the same grounds parties that were not elected in the last presidential elections have no role in a ruling government coalition. Hope Imad can comprehend the simple logic here.

  2. A lot of ignorance shown by a lot of people. Just look at the suggestions of the two legal experts from UN and Commonwealth. They have said that the main problems of the system of government in Maldives is that we are trying to amalgamate the Presidential style of government to the parliamentary style. This is causing huge problems.

    In 2007 the majority of Maldivians voted in a plebiscite to have a Presidential style of administration. This means the people vote separately to elect a President and a VP and then in separate elections, elect members to the legislative.

    In no where was it that the people voted for MDP to be the government. All what they voted was for two people to be President and VP.

    So in reality what we had was a Nasheed administration and not a MDP government. What we have now is a Waheed Administration and not a coalition government. It is irrelevant that he has members of other parties in his administration. Obama has had members of other parties in his administration.
    The sitting President has the right, the freedom and the authority to chose anyone as a Minister irrespective of the party. All he needs is the approval of the Majlis.

    The sooner the Majlis, the President starts following what the electorate voted the better it would be for the country.
    Lets bring back what we voted in 2007. That is a Presidential style of democracy.

  3. There are no government parties and opposition parties in the Parliament in a presidential system. There is a majority leader and a minority leader. The Parliament as a whole is expected to act as a check on the Executive, with the judiciary expected to keep a check on both the Executive and the Parliament. They are all part of the governance system, with no branch enjoying absolute power. This is why it is regarded as a system of checks and balances in governance.

  4. This is exactly as I predicted. There was no way the regime's collaborators would have allowed MDP to join in. Furthermore, it's also not surprising that PPM is the loudest dissenting voice in this regard, since they are the ones most likely to lose influence if MDP joins in.

    The choice for MDP is quite clear. They need to focus on the upcoming general elections and reform of the party.

  5. Jameel is correct. We have a PRESIDENTIAL System of Government and we never elected any party to run the state. We elected an individual backed by several parties. Please do not confuse the system of UK to ours as they have a PARLIAMENTRY system where people do not directly elect the PM.

  6. then why the hell Anni told that " there were no coalition involved" and it was only MDP government.

    Guys do not think that entire Maldives is behind Anni only handful people are with Anni.

    Dr. Waheed initially offered to participate but Anni refused to join and then why we all need to bow our heads to Anni.

    Anni is a big failure and you can be the president of Kenreege and recommend you to declare independence at Usfasgadu and then be the president of Usfasgadu.

  7. MDP really does need reform from top-to-bottom.

    The party never really graduated from its roots as a vehicle for activists and agitators to vent their frustrations.

    If the party is to function as a real political association it must prioritize winning public support above everything else.

    MDP need's to sideline characters who are by nature divisive and bring to the fore those who can command the support of the local population. It also needs to reform its internal governance structure and attract quality persons to fill key posts. MDP also needs to find its footing in the post-2008 environment. The foundations for democratic governance have already been laid. MDP needs to learn to work within the system.

  8. With all due respect Jameel, the Maldivian constitutions states that the VP is not elected but appointed by the president so I don't get the argument about people separately voting for VP and the president!

    And the argument about parliamentary vs presidential system, isn't that the same argument that MDP has been voicing out when the opposition parties got the majority seats in Majlis and started to introduce legislation to curtail the powers to the executive through out the past couple of years?
    Just look at the whole mess created when trying to cut down the civil service and the councils. The opposition had effectively forced MDP to negotiate at their whim to get anything done through the parliament!

    Don't think that the so called "handful" of people behind MDP are not blind to what went on. A whole lot of good would be done to this country if everyone would do away with the hypocrisy. The coup gov.aligned parties made the bed, now lie in it!!!

  9. Dear Anni,

    I know you or your colleagues read these comments. I have been a supporter of you for over 10 years. You have destroyed my trust, slowly and surely over the last year, and this is the last straw. Don't you have any shame to one day call Waheed a brutal dictator and the next asking to join the government. You are sounding sillier by the day. My advise is for you to join a UK or US based environmental organisation and quit Maldivian politics. You have no political sense whatsoever.

  10. @Maldives Democrat

    you just told there the dream of Golhaa and his team.

    Golhaabo went left and right accusing and arresting people of being baagees for 30 freaking years.

    Now he himself became a baagee, karma is a bitch huh.

  11. I think this is a good move by MDP and it shows that unlike the current government, they are taking the CONI report as a whole. Earlier they refused to join the government cos they very strongly believed that it was a coup and while they still believe it, in the interest of moving forward, they have accepted the CONI report for what it is and in doing so, is looking at being part of the government as the report clearly states the government is still that which was elected in 2008 and it was a MDP coalition that was elected, not DRP or PPM. So nothing wrong with what they are asking for. In fact it takes guts to deflate their egos and ask for this and if the government is interested in moving forward peacefully they can't refuse it on the grounds that there won't be an opposition. If so, they wouldn't have made the offer in the first place! Looks like we are in a unique situation, and it's the shortcoming of the CONI report that has put this country in this situation as the report had all the power to make a difference but it's full of loopholes. It's time for the government to also fully endorse the CONI report, instead of selecting the pages that suites their needs. All the political leaders in this country need to grow up and realise that they have a country to run and people they are responsible for. Looking after the needs of the police, military and themselves doesn't cut it!

  12. I don't believe that the MDP should support any move or Government which refuses to respect the rights of the poor and the oppressed. Perhaps they can join and seek to fight for the realization of their social justice reform measures from a co-operative, internal position.

    Whatever it takes, whoever it takes to provide medicine, education and help for the genuinely poor and oppressed, I am on their sie, whether it be Anni, or Waheed, or Maumoon, HELL, I'd even move beyond my own hurt and support Yameen Abdul-Gayoom with my whole love and heart IF he genuinely worked for social reform! I ONCE believed that was what Yameen was all about (long ludicrous story!)

  13. Actually MDP has a very good opportunity to reform judiciary now.

    Join in as the Government of National Unity and then leverage with DRP, to reform judiciary for national interest. Here MDP has a rare opportunity to sideline PPM before 2013 election.

    Sometimes blessing can come as a disguise.

  14. Waheed has no right to resolve the MDP government. This 5 year belongs to MDP.

    History repeat. I see killings in the future.

    People who belong to MDP would take revenge. Leaders of the coup should live careful lives. I see bloodshed.

    Waheed should realise it is Anni and MDP who did all the work.


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