The government-aligned Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) has announced that it has left President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan’s ‘forward with the nation’ coalition, ending its support for his 2013 election bid.
The decision came shortly after the religious conservative Adhaalath Party left the coalition and joined resort tycoon Gasim Ibrahim’s Jumhoree Party (JP).
Local media is speculating that DQP Leader Dr Hassan Saeed – President Waheed’s Special Advisor since the controversial February 7 transfer of power – is likely to be announced as Gasim’s running mate.
In a statement released by the DQP on Thursday, the party said its council had unanimously agreed to leave the coalition, and accused President Waheed of being incapable of protecting the interests of his coalition partners.
Instead, the party alleged, Waheed was turning to “family influence” in making key decisions.
“The president dissolved the steering committee established with coalition partners to resolve issues within the coalition and resorted to taking decisions within his palace,” read the DQP statement.
Among other concerns, the party claimed that no key roles were given to coalition partners in the presidential campaign, which were instead outsourced to the president’s “family members and expatriates”.
The DQP alleged that some coalition partners had also breached their initial agreement to work together and were secretly attempting to induce members of other coalition partners to join their party.
The DQP, which has a membership of less than 1800 people, also claimed that president Waheed gave more priority to those who financially backed him over those who supported him with “sincerity and genuineness”.
“Therefore, despite repeated efforts, President Waheed’s failure to resolve these issues” forced the party to leave the coalition, DQP said.
Responding to the statement, a source in Waheed’s coalition told Minivan News that the DQP’s decision to leave the ‘Forward with the nation’ coalition was unexpected, when compared to the departure of the Adhaalath Party last week.
The source said DQP Leader Dr Hassan Saeed was himself in attendance during an official signing event held yesterday by Waheed, who was seeking 1,500 signatures needed to apply for candidacy as an independent. Saeed had been booked to attend another campaign visit over the coming days, the source said.
Despite the defection, the source claimed President Waheed’s campaigning would not be impacted by sudden defection of the DQP in any way.
“The [DQP] is a very small party of around 2000 members so we are not expecting much of an impact,” the source said.
With the departure of both the DQP and the Adhaalath party, President Waheed’s coalition now consists of his own Gaumee Ithihaad Party (GIP) and the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP).
DRP leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali was earlier been unveiled as Waheed’s running mate, although whether the pair will contest on the same independent ticket remains uncertain.
“There are people trying to bar me from competing. I will not be the one to get caught in that trap,” Waheed said earlier this week.
“So I intend to take the form and go on the streets. I will visit houses, carrying the form, during the next two days and ask those who wish to see me remain in this post for another term to sign.”
Dr Hassan Saeed has meanwhile resigned from his position as Waheed’s special advisor, shortly after the DQP announced its decision to side with Gasim Ibrahim.
Saeed was promptly replaced by former Attorney General Aishath Bisham.