Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan said this morning that his party had not been officially informed of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s decision to tear up its coalition agreement with Waheed’s party, the Gaumee Itthihaad Party (GIP).
Twenty-one members of the MDP’s national council voted in favour of the move, out of 23 present. The council also called on President Mohamed Nasheed to remove all GIP members from ministerial positions. Vice President Waheed and Education Minister Dr Mustafa Luthfy are the only two GIP members remaining in Cabinet, after Nasheed dismissed Minister for Economic Development Mohamed Rasheed several weeks ago.
“We no longer trust these guys,” Haleem said. “Our coalition partner is working with the opposition – I think [Waheed] will be joining [the opposition] Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) very soon. I hope so, it would be best for him.”
Haleem added that he hoped the president would “obey” the MDP Council and remove the GIP members from government: “I hope so. MDP’s national council is one of the most powerful arms of the MDP,” Haleem said.
Dr Waheed recently raised the ire of MDP supporters when he held an apparently clandestine meeting with senior leadership of the DRP, including Umar Naseer and MPs Ali Waheed, Ahmed Nihan and Ahmed Mahlouf.
“I think the political sitaution requires that we talk to each other and work together,” Dr Waheed told Minivan News today. “There are bills we have to get through [parliament], especially revenue bills to address the deficit. I believe it is important, and I think I am in a position to speak. I met with opposition MPs partly at their request, and I indicated I would meet them.”
He said he was surprised at the inflamed response from MDP supporters – “I did not realise this would attract so much attention from the press and MDP activists,” he said.
Dr Waheed said the reaction of both parties following the meeting was “not helpful.”
“Under the current circumstances everyone is trying to score political points,” he said.
GIP had not been formally informed of MDP’s decision last night to sever the coalition, he noted.
“If this is true then of course we are concerned. We believe we have a valid agreement to work with MDP together until the end of term.”
The removal of GIP members from government would be an “unfortunate” outcome, Dr Waheed said.
“I had expected some kind of discussion. Since we were not consulted when the Economic Development [Mohamed Rasheed] Minister was dismissed, I felt I had grounds to talk, especially since no reason given except ‘political circumstances’.”
Dr Waheed called for discussions, concluding that “we can’t go on pretending the country has no problems, because that will not solve them.”
The President has not yet said whether he will take the advice of MDP’s national council. Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair was not responding at time of press.