MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik announced his resignation as chairperson of the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) at a meeting of the party’s national council today, which also saw former President Mohamed Nasheed appointed MDP’s acting president.
At the conclusion of today’s meeting, the outgoing chairperson said he decided to resign because he believed in democratic principles, urging other members in the party’s leadership to follow his example.
He added that former President Nasheed was in charge of the MDP’s election campaigns, which were conducted based on “his instructions and under his supervision.”
Moosa assured council members that there was no “negligence” on his part that was to blame for the MDP’s losses.
Today’s meeting was called to discuss restructuring and reforms following electoral defeats in the presidential and parliamentary polls, and to decide a date for the party’s next congress.
MP Moosa Manik announced his resignation at the start of the council meeting in Dharubaaruge this afternoon.
In the wake of the party’s poor performance in the Majlis elections, Nasheed told the press that the leadership should bear responsibility and called for new leaders to take the party’s helm.
The main opposition party fielded 85 candidates and won 26 seats in the March 22 elections, while the ruling Progressive Coalition secured a comfortable majority.
The coalition’s numbers in parliament grew to a two-thirds majority with yesterday’s defection of MDP MP-elect Mohamed Musthafa to the Progressive Party of Maldives.
A resolution to appoint Nasheed acting president was adopted with the support of 47 members out of the 54 in attendance at today’s council meeting.
The post of the MDP’s president has been vacant since the national council removed former party president Dr Ibrahim Didi with a no-confidence vote in April 2012.
The MDP national council today also decided to hold the party’s congress on June 6 and 7.
Among other decisions approved today, the national council voted to form a three-member committee to study reforms (Dhivehi) suggested by a group of party members. The committee consists of Youth Wing President Aminath Shauna, Ali Niyaz, and Ahmed Mujthaba.
A proposal by MP Ahmed Hamza to appoint members to vacant leadership posts within the next six months and a proposal by former National Social Protection Agency Chairman Ibrahim Waheed to make former presidents elected to office on the party’s ticket permanent members of the council were also passed.