The government-aligned Dhivehi Rayithunge Party (DRP) has ruled out a coalition with the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) ahead of elections later this year, despite being open to collaboration with other parties.
DRP Deputy Leader Ibrahim Shareef told Minivan News the DRP would not contemplate forming a coalition with the PPM beyond the present government, calling any discussion on the matter a “waste of time” considering previous disagreements between the two parties.
The PPM, a coalition partner in the government of President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik, was formed by DRP founder former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom in 2011 following an acrimonious war of words with the party’s current leader, Ahmed Thasmeen Ali. Thasmeen was directly appointed by Gayoom to be his successor as head of the DRP.
PPM members are currently campaigning ahead of primaries to decide whether MP Abdulla Yameen or the party’s former interim Deputy Leader Umar Naseer will contest as the organisations presidential candidate in September’s elections.
Speaking Friday (March 15) at a rally head at the artificial beach area of Male’, PPM Deputy Leader Ilham Ahmed claimed that unlike MP Yameen, “almost all parties” have said they would unite with Umar Naseeer in a coalition for the next presidential elections, reported Sun Online.
Ilham told the gathered crowd that being able to form a coalition would be important in the upcoming elections, adding that no other party would be interested in forming an alliance with a party helmed by MP Yameen.
MP Ilham was not responding to calls at time of press, while Umar Naseer’s secretary said he was too busy to speak.
However, PPM MP and spokesperson for MP Yameen’s campaign team Shifaq Mufeed has since slammed Umar Naseer’s primary team for making what he called slanderous and untruthful statements.
With its own congress scheduled for next month, DRP Deputy Leader Ibrahim Shareef said the DRP was presently focusing on its own campaign and manifesto for the presidential elections, but believed the party would never be able to form an alliance with the PPM going forward.
“Our position is very clear, we will not be forming a coalition with the PPM,” he said.
Shareef said that following a split within the DRP that saw supporters loyal to former President Gayoom break away and form the PPM, it would not be possible for the two parties to work together.
“We won’t waste our time discussing a coalition with them,” he said.
Despite rejecting any possibility of working with the PPM, Shareef said that the DRP would not rule out a coalition with parties in the future who they had not already worked with, adding that there was always room for discussions to be held.
However, he claimed that the party was presently in the process of compiling its manifesto for elections to be held next year, while also trying to finalise a venue for the party’s congress scheduled next month.
“Right now we have not been able to get a venue, though we hope to secure Dharubaaruge [conference centre],” Shareef said. “We are not a wealthy party, so we cannot campaign like richer parties and we need to find a new way to do this. We don’t have our own television or radio stations like other parties.”
Spokespersons for the Jumhoree Party (JP), Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) and Adhaalath Party (AP) were not responding to calls at time of press.