Islamic Minister Dr Abdul Majeed Abdul Bari has resigned from the position after pressure from the Adhaalath Party.
He confirmed to Minivan News today he that he had submitted the resignation letter to the President’s Office.
”I resigned out of respect for the decision made by the Adhaalath Party to break its coalition agreement with the government,” Dr Bari said. ”I sent the letter today and they have not responded yet.”
Dr Bari said that although he had resigned from the position as well as the Chairmanship of Adhaalath Party’s Religious Council, he would “remain active in politics.”
Recently, Dr Bari and State Islamic Minister Sheikh Hussain Rasheed Ahmed were asked by the Adhaalath Party to resign, however Sheikh Rasheed issued a statement explaining his refusal to do so.
Dr Bari had earlier resigned from the Chairmanship of Adhaalath Party’s Religious Council.
Today he told the media that he had resigned from the council’s chairmanship after the council issued a statement against his view on Imams, reciting Bismi aloud and permanently reciting Qunoot in Fajr prayers.
The President’s Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair confirmed to Minivan News that Dr Bari had submitted his letter of resignation, but said President Nasheed had not had a chance to read it yet as he had been out this afternoon observing the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST).
Zuhair said he was “surprised” by Bari’s decision as he had “worked patiently and in accordance with the government’s policy” prior to his resignation.
“Even with the religious unity regulations, he worked patiently with the government in a non-partisan way, and he had the last word before it was published,” Zuhair said, noting that Bari had chosen the government’s side in 2009 over its previous alliance with the Jumhooree Party (JP).
Zuhair added that the President valued Dr Bari’s contribution and “patient and academic efforts” as Islamic Minister.
It was too early to speculate on a replacement, he said. However speculation today was that Sheikh Rasheed was among the most likely candidates.
Sheikh Rasheed did not respond to Minivan News at time of press.