Jumhooree Party (JP) leader Gasim Ibrahim has slammed the religious conservative Adhaalath Party (AP) over its decision to field candidates in People’s Majlis constituencies reserved for the JP.
Speaking to local media on Sunday, Gasim said Maldivians would not accept the AP’s “unethical” decision.
“Their actions are not in the general interest, in the name of Adhaalath (justice) they are doing everything in the wrong way. This is what I believe. This is the truth. There is no deception in this,” said the JP leader.
“We gave them four seats. They did not accept it. There is nothing we can do,” he said.
The AP was excluded from the governing coalition’s seat allocation. The ruling coalition agreed to contest the People’s Majlis elections as a team and initially allocated 49 seats to the Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM), eight to the Maldives Development Alliance (MDA), and 28 to the JP.
The AP held a series of discussions with the PPM and JP on the possibility of allocating constituencies to its candidates.
However, negotiations with the JP ended unsuccessfully after it refused to cede the Vaikaradhoo and Makunudhoo constituencies. The PPM also refused to cede five constituencies to the AP.
The AP subsequently announced it would field candidates in all constituencies reserved for the JP, but eventually decided upon seven candidates in PPM reserved constituencies and six in constituencies reserved for the JP.
The AP was among the coalition of parties that backed Gasim during November’s presidential election. After placing third in the re-run of the first round of presidential polls, the JP initially said it would remain neutral and would not support either the PPM or the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).
After the AP pledged its unconditional support for the PPM, just days before the second round, Gasim announced that his party had decided to back the PPM in exchange for a 30 percent stake in government and local and parliamentary elections.
Gasim went on to say that any agreement between his party and Adhaalath was invalidated as the two had decided to support the PPM separately.
He said the JP would have fielded candidates for all 85 constituencies if not for the agreement within the coalition.
“Success will not be within reach unless we work together,” he said, calling on coalition supporters vote only for coalition candidates.
The AP’s candidates include Ali Zahir for the Inguraidhoo constituency, Ibrahim Ahmed for the Madduvari constituency, incumbent MP Ibrahim Muttalib for the Fares-Maathoda constituency, Abdulla Ibrahim for the Kendhikolhudhoo constituency, Hassan Rasheed for the Kudahuvadhoo constituency, and Abdulla Haleem for the Isdhoo constituency.
Anara Naeem will contest the Makunudhoo constituency in Haa Dhaal atoll, Aishath Haleela for the Vaikaradhoo constituency, Ahmed Zahir for the Komandoo constituency, Asadhulla Shafie for the Kaashidhoo constituency, and Hisham Ahmed will contest the Meedhoo constituency in Addu City.
The party also named the Fiqh Academy Vice President Dr Mohamed Iyaz Abdul Latheef for the Hulhuhenveiru constituency. Dr Iyaz last week sparked controversy as he endorsed the practice of female genital mutilation in an online forum.
The AP also announced that State Minister for Home Affairs Abdulla Mohamed was awarded the party’s ticket for the Nolhivaram constituency.