Dr Abdul Majeed Abdul Bari was reappointed Minister of Islamic Affairs this morning, less than a week after he resigned from the position in the wake of the religious conservative Adhaalath party’s decision to sever its coalition agreement with the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).
Dr Bari told Minivan News last week that he resigned “out of respect” for his party’s decision.
While both Dr Bari and State Islamic Minister Sheikh Hussain Rasheed Ahmed were asked to resign by the Adhaalath Party as they could “no longer represent the party in this government”, the latter issued a statement saying he would not resign unless he was asked by President Mohamed Nasheed.
Speaking to press at the Islamic Ministry today, Bari claimed that he accepted the post “as an individual” after “98 percent” of the people he consulted with – including religious scholars, businessmen and members of the general public – had advised him to do so.
Bari explained that he did not resign out of dissatisfaction with the government or difficulties in performing his duties, insisting that he accepted the post again “as a second opportunity to serve the nation.”
President Nasheed had welcomed Bari’s decision to accept the post while remaining a member of the Adhaalath Party, he said, insisting that he had no intention of resigning from the party.
Bari added that he expected Adhaalath Party to be “satisfied” that a member of the party would be filling the post of Islamic Minister.
Bari went on to criticise the party’s decision to sever the coalition agreement, claiming that a decision had been made before the consultation council held a meeting.
Moreover, he added, the meeting was held in violation of party rules and regulations as members were not informed of the items on the agenda. Dr Bari said he had argued against leaving the MDP-led coalition.
Adhaalath Party Spokesperson Sheikh Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed, who resigned as State Minister for Islamic Affairs last year, told Minivan News today that Dr Bari’s resignation was “a drama.”
“It was a drama he played so I would not like to comment on his action,” he said.
Adhaalath Party meanwhile issued a press statement today strongly condemning Dr Bari’s decision as going against “the spirit of the party’s constitution as well as the party’s decisions.”
“We also note that Dr Abdul Majeed Abdul Bari lied when he claimed to have assumed the post again after consulting with the party,” it reads, characterising the move as “lowly conduct” on the minister’s part.