The religious conservative Adhaalath Party (AP) has yet to overtly raise concerns over the manner in which President Dr Mohamed Waheed is campaigning ahead of September’s presidential election, despite media reports suggesting the party is considering backing out of the coalition.
Abdulla Yazeed, a spokesperson on the media team of President Waheed’s election campaign, told Minivan News “no dissatisfaction” has been raised by the AP at a leadership level concerning its campaigning.
However, the spokesperson said media speculation over dissatisfaction by certain parties in the president’s coalition had seen the number of campaign activities increased.
The claims were made after the AP’s consultation council reportedly decided to leave the coalition if campaign activities did not pick up.
AP President Sheikh Imran Abdullah was quoted in local media as saying that the party’s consultation council held a meeting on Thursday (July 4) to discuss a motion submitted by three members concerning the AP’s future in the coalition.
“The consultation council decided tonight for the leadership to seek a solution because the coalition’s activities are not progressing and if a solution is not found that we might have to leave the coalition,” Imran was quoted as saying in newspaper Haveeru.
He added that the coalition’s campaign was at a standstill.
Responding to the claims, President Waheed’s Gaumee Itthihad Party (GIP) Spokesperson Abbas Adil Riza yesterday told Sun Online that “some members of the AP” wished to remain in the coalition, a decision he claimed would be backed by the majority of the party.
Both Sheikh Imran and Abbas were not responding to calls from Minivan News at time of press.
Coalition Spokesperson Yazeed told Minivan News that a number of campaign activities were already underway by the president’s supporters, including the recent launch of manifesto policies and a door-to-door meeting with the public both in Male’ and the outer atolls to bolster support for the president.
“The coalition has a member base of 45,000 – equivalent to that of the Maldivian democratic Party (MDP),” he claimed.
With President Waheed having departed on an official visit to Sri Lanka yesterday (July 5), his running mate, Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) Leader MP Ahmed Thasmeen Ali, has been campaigning in Shaviyani Atoll in recent days.
Speaking at a rally on the island of Kanditheemu, Thasmeen was reported in local media as pledging that a Waheed government would establish pre-schools with adequate capacities and highly trained teachers on every inhabited island in the country. There are 196 inhabited islands in the Maldives.
Thasmeen and DRP Parliamentary Group Leader MP Dr Abdulla Mausoom were not responding to calls at time of press.
Meanwhile, current Housing Minister and AP Secretary General Dr Mohamed Muiz today took to social media service Twitter to express disappointment over not being informed of the tour of Shaviyani Atoll by other coalition members.
He later removed the tweet.
President Waheed’s campaigning has also come under criticism from the government-aligned Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) in recent months.
While the party has continued to support President Waheed as part of his coalition government, MP Ahmed Nihan last month said the PPM remained concerned at what it alleged was his continued use of state funds and resources to support campaigning for the coalition.
“This is our one crucial concern. President Waheed needs to facilitate a free and fair election,” he said.