The President’s Office has extended invitations to eight political parties to attend a meeting on Thursday (August 30) to discuss how to proceed following the release of the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) report.
The eight parties who have been invited are the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), Qaumee Party (DQP), Adhaalath Party (AP), People’s Alliance (PA), the Maldives Reform Movement (MRM) and Jumhooree Party (JP). President Waheed’s National Unity Party, along with other small parties were not included in the invitation.
The meeting is scheduled to be held on Thursday at the Bandos Island Resort and Spa. The CNI report is scheduled to be released to the public the same day.
President’s Office Media Secretary Masood Imad ahs told Minivan news that any party involved with the All Party Talks prior to their suspension back in June were included in this invitation. He also said that any party that has been excluded was made on the basis that the organisations lack leadership. Speaking further, he said “President Waheed has always advised against street protests. Even though MDP has again started demonstrating, President Waheed is showing restraint and putting in a lot of effort to make sure the party talks are successful.”
DRP Leader Thasmeen Ali has previously stated that the party is open to discussions. However, he expressed concern that this week’s statement from President Nasheed’s appointee to the CNI, Gahaa Ahmed Saeed, may cause complications at the all-party talks.
Chief Spokesperson of Jumhooree Party, Moosa Rameez told Minivan News today that the party always welcomes discussion and as such will be participating in the talks. Regarding the MDP’s ongoing demonstrations, Rameez said “I don’t think anybody should be making an issue out of a group of people practicing a right guaranteed to them in the constitution. As long as the demonstrations are peaceful and fall within the laws of the country, I personally see no reason why this should at all have an effect on the discussions we are to have among political leaders.”
Speaking on behalf of MDP, former Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Mariyam Zulfa told Minivan News today that since the President’s Office had sent the invitation for All Party Talks specifically to party Chairperson, Moosa ‘Reeko’ Manik.
Manik will himself be attending the talks for the MDP. Dr Zulfa added that she didn’t believe the recommencement of direct action would have an adverse effect on the all-party talks as the invitation letter did not specify any such requirements.
“The only legal remedy for an unlawful change of power is going for early elections. We hope that the discussions are open to this option,” she said.
PPM Interim Deputy Leader Umar Naseer and Parliamentary Group Leader Abdulla Yameen were not responding to calls to Minivan News at time of press.
DQP’s Parliament Member Riyaz Rasheed and General Secretary Abdulla Ameen were also not responding when contacted.