Vice President of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) Umar Naseer has alleged to local media that Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP)’s recent criticism of the government was due to their intention to leave the ruling coalition.
Speaking to newspaper Haveeru, Naseer accused DRP leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali of trying to “get things done in his favor” through the present government.
“The DRP is seeking to get a sovereign guarantee to pay off Thasmeen’s debts. As soon as they know it can’t happen, they will break away from the coalition”, Naseer claimed.
DRP Deputy Leader Ibrahim ‘Mavota’ Shareef denied Naseer’s allegations and said Thasmeen had no debts under his name.
He further accused Naseer of continuously attempting to defame Thasmeen.
“Umar accused Thasmeen and Abdulla Shahid of being involved in the [awarding of the airport] to GMR . If that is so, why aren’t they investigating the matter now that they are in the government? There is never any truth to what [Umar Naseer] says,” Shareef said.
Naseer claimed that PPM deserved more positions in the current government than the DRP, as PPM had played the “most important role” in the transfer of power in February.
“Ninety-nine percent of the anti-government protesters were from PPM. 99 percent of the injured were from PPM. Our members sacrificed the most to change the government. And DRP does not deserve to get an equal number of government positions as PPM,” Naseer said.
Naseer’s comments follow Monday’s press conference by the DRP criticising certain government officials and describing them as incompetent.
During the press conference, Shareef claimed the Foreign Ministry had inaccurately portrayed the real situation in the Maldives, and had falsely claimed that the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) had sided with the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).
Misconceptions in the international community surrounding the transfer of power represented a failure on behalf of the Ministry, Haveeru reported Shareef as saying.
In response, Naseer accused the DRP of trying to win a parliamentary majority by forming a coalition with the MDP.
However, speaking to Minivan News, DRP MP Dr Abdulla Mausoom said that despite some concerns the party had regarding the current government’s policies, it had no intention of leaving the coalition until the next presidential elections.
Asked about any possible consequences clashes between the DRP and PPM – the two largest parties in the ruling coalition – would have on the functioning of the unity government and political stability in the country, Dr Mausoom said the cross-party strife had “nothing to do with the functioning of the government”.
Furthermore, “imagining” that the DRP would leave the coalition and join the MDP was “irresponsible journalism”, he said, adding that the DRP would continue to support President Waheed’s administration until the next election.
The PPM was formed last year following an acrimonious split with the DRP, after the party’s disciplinary committee evicted Naseer from the party. Naseer claimed he had been thrown out of the party for protesting against the MDP, while the DRP leadership contended that he had been holding protests without the party’s consent.
In December 2010, following Naseer’s departure from the party, a DRP event ended in a factional brawl.
A meeting came to blows after Naseer, the party’s Deputy Leader prior to his dismissal by the party’s disciplinary committee, and his supporters gatecrashed the venue.
The meeting was held in celebration of a Supreme Court ruling, which saw seven cabinet ministers departing their posts after their reappointments were disapproved by the opposition-majority parliament.
In February 2011, police evacuated Shareef from DRP headquarters after the spokesperson was attacked by a crowd of Naseer’s supporters.