Opposition coalition shows strain in scuffle over committee meetings

The major opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), headed by Ahmed Thasmeen Ali and “honorary leader” former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, has issued a statement accusing its coalition partner of “misleading the people over DRP.”

Together the DRP and the People’s Alliance (PA), led by Gayoom’s half-brother Abdulla Yameen, form a majority in the country’s parliament, however recent tension between the two parties suggest the coalition is under strain.

”We condemn and regret the action of PA,” said the DRP in a statement. ”Unlike the PA, the DRP has elected many candidates for the upcoming local council elections and these sort of irresponsible actions will have an effect on all the DRP candidates, all supporters of DRP, and all the opposition parties.”

The DRP observed that Yameen had spoken to local media DhiTV and SunFM about the long delay between DRP and PA committee meetings, and said that Yameen has  put the blame on Thasmeen.

”All he said was intended to smear respect for the party and was very wrong,” read the DRP statement.

Thasmeen, the party claimed, had struggled to hold meetings with the coalition despite agreeing to hold the meetings at any venue and time Yameen wished.

”Both sides agreed that meetings would be organised by PA deputy leader Moosa Zameer, but up until now, a time and venue has never been organised,” said the party.

DRP explained that Yameen had failed to attend a DRP/PA parliamentary meeting for almost one and half years, “and has also informed other members not to attend these meetings.”

The party requested Yameen stop speaking “irresponsibly”.

Yameen recently told local radio station SunFM that all the work done in parliament to make the government accountable was performed by PA, and said that there were 22 issues at the committee stage being delayed because DRP was not cooperating with the PA.

He also claimed that the government was able to make the GMR Airport deal because an amendment to the Financial Act was kept on Speaker Abdulla Shahid’s table for too long, rather than presenting it to the parliament chamber.

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