Ousted Jumhoree Party (JP) Deputy leader and MP Abdulla Jabir has rejoined the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), pledging to oust President Mohamed Waheed Hassan.
The MP for Kaashidhoo signed with MDP last night during the party’s ‘Vaudhuge Dhathuru’ (Journey of pledges) campaign tour near the island of Hulhudhufaaru in Raa Atoll.
After joining the MDP, Jabir told the local press that he had joined the party because he believed it was with MDP that he saw progress in politics. He also said that he would spend all his time committed to MDP and its success.
Jabir added that despite the MDP candidate losing the weekend’s by-election to a Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) candidate, his joining the party meant an addition of one more parliamentary seat to MDP.
Meanwhile, MDP Parliamentary Group Leader MP Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said the party was working to remove President Waheed and hold early elections, adding that the addition of MP Jabir to the parliamentary group would further this goal.
Jabir’s signing to MDP comes shortly after he was removed from the position of Deputy Leader of the JP in what he described as “a coup” within JP. All members aside from two voted in favor of Jabir’s removal from his position following the vote taken by the JP council.
Previously speaking during an MDP rally held on Ungoofaaru during by-election campaigning, Jabir announced his support for MDP’s campaign to oust President Waheed, and promised to contribute in his personal and financial capacity.
Speaking to Minivan News, Jabir said that he joined the MDP to support its fight against torture and police brutality and to support its democracy movement. He alleged that current government was indulging in acts of corruption and nepotism.
“What we see today is that Waheed’s government is resorting to brutality and torture is run like a corrupt and nepotistic regime that dishonors business agreements,” he said.
Asked why he had left MDP previously, Jabir stated that there was “no need to talk about the past”.
“What happened in the past should stay in the past. This is a new chapter. I look forward to work with the MDP parliamentary group to liberate this country from Waheed’s brutality and his corrupt government,” he said.
Antagonism towards Waheed’s government
Those arrested included MDP MP Hamid Abdul Ghafoor – also the party’s international spokesperson – along with former SAARC Secretary General and Special Envoy to the former President, Ibrahim Hussain Zaki, former Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair and his wife Mariyam Faiz.
Police claimed they found large amounts of “suspected” drugs and alcohol upon searching the island with a court warrant. The arrests were made “based on information received by police intelligence,” police said.
Recently, resorts owned by Jabir were issued with final warning notices for non-payment of rent. The move came days after he turned against the government, and was described by Jabir as the government’s effort to destroy a political opponent.
“I know following the recent political developments and due to my new opposition to the current government, [President] Waheed has now ordered the tourism minister to issue the repayment notice so as to threaten his political opponents,” declared Jabir.
“This is highly politically motivated. He knew I was the one behind submitting the amendment to parliamentary regulations to make the impeachment vote a secret ballot. It was I who in the first place drafted that amendment and gave it to MP Ahmed Amir. They know this but I will still continue to work for that,” he explained.
Since then, Jabir openly declared his support to MDP’s efforts to make parliamentary impeachment votes a secret ballot.
The first amendment proposed to the parliamentary regulations to bring the change by MDP was defeated on the parliament floor. However, a second amendment has been proposed and the parliament is to take a vote on the amendment on Monday.
Jabir is well known for his frequent defections from party to party. His first political party was Dhivehi Rayithunge Party (DRP) during the presidency of Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom. He then joined former party of PPM Parliamentary Group leader MP Yameen Abdul Gayoom, the People’s Alliance (PA).
Jabir defected to the JP ahead of the 2008 presidential elections and backed JP leader and business tycoon Gasim Ibrahim. Jabir was appointed as the party’s deputy leader.
He then went on to join the MDP and hold senior positions within the party. He also announced his intention to contest for the MDP chairmanship.
However, during the protests following the detention of Chief Judge of Criminal Court Abdulla Mohamed, Jabir once again declared that he had defected from MDP back to the JP.
In the meantime Jabir’s wife, former SAARC Secretary General Dhiyana Saeed, also resigned from her position in SAARC and joined the opposition movement against former President Mohamed Nasheed.
Jabir became an MP after winning the by-election held to elect an MP to the vacant seat of Kaashidhoo constituency on a JP ticket. He was backed by President Waheed and a coalition of parties supporting his government.
THe PPM who initially had its own candidate for the election also backed Jabir.