Speaking at the Jumhooree Party (JP) parliamentary election victory rally ‘Dhivehi Rayyithunnah Saabas’ last night the party leader Gasim Ibrahim warned that failing to fulfill coalition promises would be bad.
Gasim said that he had been doing everything President Abdulla Yameen has asked of him and that he expects the ruling coalition not to betray the promises made amongst the allies.
Stating that things should not be forgotten, and that promises should be fulfilled, Gasim said any failure to do so would “result in zero”.
The JP leader noted that while his party was promised 35 percent in the government, only 29 political appointments have been allocated to them so far.
“For example, if the government is making 400 political appointments, 29 is not 35 percent of that amount. [If it is 35 percent] there would be more. But if 29 appointments is 35 percent [of political appointments] then we are content.”
“But if we consider this figure, it should definitely reach 100. If this is not the case [we have to] look in to this,” Gasim said.
Gasim argued that the JP had lost ten seats in the parliamentary elections due to some “other reasons”, the details of which he said he does not want to delve into. Otherwise, he argued, the party could have won in 25 out of the total 28 constituencies in which he competed.
Gasim has earlier said that leading figures from the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) competed as independents in eight of the 28 constituencies allocated for JP under the coalition seat allocation deal. Pro-coalition Adhaalath Party – sidelined from the deal – also ran in constituencies allocated for both the PPM and JP.
Earlier this month the ruling progressive coalition led by President Yameen’s PPM held a rally to mark the parliamentary election victory, but the JP was not present at the event.
Explaining JP’s absence, Gasim said said yesterday that it was not a coalition event but a PPM event. He said no JP members were given the opportunity to speak at the rally – “not even to give words of thanks”.
He said the PPM leadership refused a request to alter the rally agenda to allow JP members to speak.
The JP backed PPM the second round of presidential election 2013 after failing to reach a deal to contest with a single candidate in the re-run of the first round. The JP backing was essential for President Abdulla Yameen’s win over Maldivian Democratic Party’s Mohamed Nasheed in the second round.
Since the coalition government was formed – with the JP promised 35 percent in the government- the two parties have faced a number of major disagreements, though both have denied claims of a rifts in the coalition.
A major poing of contention was during the budget allocation last December when President Yameen requested that the PPM decide upon the details of the budget. JP leader Gasim said his party was not consulted regarding the budget and proposed a number of amendments.
More recently, both parties decided to field separate candidates for the position of parliament speaker creating further tensions within the coalition.