The Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) has signed a coalition agreement with Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali, after a day of political infighting among the opposition.
The deal could represent an alliance between Thasmeen and DQP leader Hassan Saeed against the DRP faction led by dismissed deputy leader Umar Naseer, who received tacit support from former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom during the location council elections.
Although unable to speak of the role a collective opposition may play within the Maldives’ newly formed local councils, Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) Secretary General Abdulla Ameen claimed the recent elections showed public sentiment was “clearly” now against the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).
“I think the local council elections clearly show that the public has no confidence in the government,” he said. “With two years until the next general election, the government will have to be much more accountable.”
With ballot counting yet to be finalised following polling for local councils over the weekend, the DQP said it had so far taken two seats – one each in the island and atoll councils – out of eight possible candidates running from within the party.
Ameen added that a “full strategy” for the DQP’s elected council members had yet to be outlined.
The uncertainty over the direction of the council members comes after Ahmed Thasmeen Ali, leader of the opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), yesterday told Minivan News that successful candidates in the elections were as yet unaware of the mandate for the country’s local councils.
“It is a fact that candidates from many parties including ours may not be clear on their responsibilities and mandates,” Thasmeen said.
Ameen said that the party would be speaking with its local council representatives as soon as possible to begin trying to outline policy and how exactly they will work to serve constituents.
“We are still waiting for official results, so I can’t say anything right now until we consult our councils and see what direction we will be taking,” he said. “Public sentiment appears to be with the [political] opposition. We now must see what they can do.”
However, the post-council election outlook for the DRP, the country’s main opposition party, seems uncertain.
Umar Naseer court-bound
Amidst claims by the DRP of a decisive victory during the local council election campaign that saw them take a large proportion of island seats, infighting within the party has continued this week, with former Deputy Leader Umar Naseer reportedly set to file a Civil Court case to nullify his dismissal.
Haveeru reported today that following the conclusion of the council election race, Naseer, who was dismissed by a DRP disciplinary committee back in December, is heading to the courts to have his former position reinstated.
The former deputy Leader has said he believes he still holds a deputy leader position in the party despite the internal DRP ruling and only a party congress has the authority to terminate his role, according to the report.
Naseer has been campaigning during the elections with DRP supreme leader and former Maldivian president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom with whom he spoke alongside at a “victory” celebration for the party this week at a ceremony near Male’s artificial beach.