Road to 2013 uncertain for opposition despite election gains, says PA

The path towards 2013’s general election is unclear for the Maldives’ political opposition according to the People’s Alliance (PA) party, despite last weekend’s local council elections serving as an “encouraging” guideline for how they could fare during national polling.

PA Secretary General Ahmed Shareef told Minivan News that in light of the performance of opposition parties, particularly the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) in securing the majority of island councils around the country, the manner in which they would come together to try and hold the government accountable was far from certain.

Shareef said a formal coalition between four or more of the country’s opposition parties was one possible option, but added that this remained far from a certainty in the current political climate.

The claims come amidst reports of further political infighting within the DRP, the country’s main opposition party, as factions supporting current leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali and dismissed former Deputy Leader Umar Naseer vie for control of the party.

The disputes led yesterday to protests outside the DRP headquarters by a crowd calling for Thasmeen’s resignation, followed by his announcement of the signing of a second coalition agreement with the Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP). The PA and DRP already maintain a coalition and together own a parliamentary majority.

Although not wishing to comment on the reported disputes between factions in the DRP itself due to allegations of the involvement of the PA in instigating them, Shareef added that party did not currently believe that the DQP’s coalition with the DRP would affect its own coalition agreement leading up to 2013’s race for the presidency.

“I don’t think the coalition with the DQP will affect our position with the DRP yet,” he said. “If the DRP, DQP, PA and JP came into a formal coalition than that would be provide strength for the opposition.”

However, following a local council elections campaign that saw the DRP obtaining the majority of the island and atoll council seats at the expense of conceding municipal gains in Male’ and Addu Atoll to the rival Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), the potential for a formal arrangement between various parties was uncertain, at least according to Shareef.

“Personally, looking at the political status of the Maldives, especially the opposition parties, I don’t see a clear picture of what will happen in 2013 [the date of the country’s next general elections], he said.

Although Shareef said that the PA’s key focus at the elections centred primarily on reducing the number of ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) seats obtained across the country, he claimed that the party was in support of local councils and encouraged them to work for constituents and not their own partisan ambitions.

However, the PA Secretary General reiterated comments made by other political parties like the DRP concerning the lack of details on the exact role and responsibilities that the newly appointed local councils will have on the nation’s politics.

“We really don’t know how system will work or how affiliated it may be with government,” he said.

In this uncertain post council election environment, Shareef said that he believed there were already reports that numerous opposition parties were working to stifle possible developments or strategies planned by elected councils.

“We hear from many councils that they will do this or that to especially make things difficult for the opposition,” he said. “If DRP candidates are there, they will make things difficult for the MDP people in the island, if MDP is in the councils the opposite will occur. That will not be the real objective why we have elected a council.”

The PA secretary general claimed that he believed one problem from the local council elections was the lack of any published rules written within the legal acts outlining decentralised government and objectives for the local councils – legislation he said that should have been in place before voting started.

Shareed claimed that a lack of voter education, particularly on what was expected of them and the significance of their vote, might be problematic in cases where councils provided “favours” such as land rights to their respective parties.

“So far these rules and regulations are not developed,” he said. “There are many important procedures and rules to be developed by the Local Government Authority (LGA).”

With the appointment of members onto the LGA expected to take place soon, he hoped these rules and other mandates would soon be developed and formally published.

“Maybe at the end of the month, with all the election results announced, we would expect for the LGA to be formed,” he said. “It is formed, but it currently only has one member – the Home Minister, who is the President’s representative on the LGA.”

The Home Minister was not responding to calls at time of press.

From the perspective of the PA, emotions were mixed on the reaction to the local council elections.

Due to its ongoing coalition agreement with the DRP, where it opted not to compete directly against candidates perceived to have strong chances of being elected, Shareef said that the PA had itself acquired one atoll council seat out of eight candidates running on a ticket from the party.

While accepting that the elections were free, Shareef said he did not believe they were fair; particularly in terms of the resources available to the ruling MDP, which he alleged had used state funds to aid its election campaigning as well as providing itself disproportionate access to state media at the opposition’s expense.


14 thoughts on “Road to 2013 uncertain for opposition despite election gains, says PA”

  1. PA Secretary General Ahmed Shareef is talking from his ass. Obviously they are concerned for the obvious reasons. Definitely it is uncertain as current regime in DRP wouldn't accept PA leader Raagondi Raaja (RR) as running mate likewise RR wouldn't accept to be anything other than top job. I would say RR is not credible person to be Maldives top man. So accept it and better MDP win.

  2. @Adviser3.13pm. Shareef is talking from his ass. Please refer to his face book and you will know that this is not a man fit to be a secretary general of a party. Then of course he's in PA...may be a perfect fit.

  3. An-Nisa
    (133) Whoever desires a reward in this life of the world, then with Allâh (Alone and none else) is the reward of this worldly life and of the Hereafter. And Allâh is Ever All¬Hearer, All¬Seer. (134) O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allâh, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor, Allâh is a Better Protector to both (than you). So follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you avoid justice, and if you distort your witness or refuse to give it, verily, Allâh is Ever Well¬Acquainted with what you do.

  4. This RR man is such a corrupt guy, he cannot and SHOULD NOT be allowed to take the top job of this beloved country of ours. It is not for the likes of this RR and J Nazim. See what these two fellas have got together done at STELCO???

  5. Whats wrong with Maldives! Everyone wants to rule the country. Its become dirty now.

  6. A coalition of DRP, DQP, PA and JP will only last until the morning after polling day. Just as their coalition with MDP broke down, these small fry parties will never be able to work together in a government with a bigger party.

    There are too many egos within these minor parties. If DRP does win the next election, then within days or weeks, all the small parties will start walking out, since they will not be happy with the amount of power they'll get in government.

    And the next cyle will begin. Everyone will form an alliance against DRP for the next election and so on until the Day of Judgement or the Great Flood, whichever comes first!

  7. It appears the "opposition" is shrinking into a disarrayed bunch of "small timers" who are finding themselves like fish out of water in this rapidly evolving liberal democratic environment. President Nasheed should be congratulated for sticking unwaveringly to the course of his party's manifesto of social justice. Amazing work for a mere two years in a country steeped in small "c" conservatism. Bravo!

  8. This guy from PA is very worried that DRP might ignore PA.

    PA has violated the coalition agreement they made, so DRP has every right to form coalitions with others.

    A negative view about this newly made coalition, the DRP - DQP coalition, is the only thing one should expect from the others. So why would PA be an exception?

  9. PA has no right to say anything as its a ghost party! Yameen's dream to rule this country is just a mere dream! Dream on Yameen! Yameen is one of the most corrupt and thug style person in politics who knowns no politics! Go back to USA to complete ur incomplete Master's degree,,this time complete it in Political science!

  10. Obviously PA is concerned. With little or no support in the islands except in Meemu atoll, the party should be dissolved. DRP is not going to give any powers to PA or to any other party. Before the election Thasmeen will be sacked and all the old thugs will join the band wagon. Hassan Saeed without any moeny and a big mouth will end up nowhere. Yameen if in a DRP cabinet will rock the boat. I think it is time for these small parties to disappear. Gasim would be better with MDP than DRP now.

  11. PA should not be allowed to bankrupt our country like RR did during his term as Trade Minister. Know he is using this dirty money to take the top post by poking his middle finger into our eyes. His thugs are making our life difficult. People must not elect any one from this family. All others are welcomed.

  12. Shaitan - One who is far from the truth.
    Iblis- One who is without hope.Ibls is a man's adversary and this is his position in conflict between good and evil.trying hard with his intellectual power to divert man from path of good they both are same.
    1-Every nation has fixed tenure during which it receives divine guidance and is provided with full opportunities to develop its utmost capacities
    2- As nation become powerful and dominant it losses contact with original source of guidance and adopts unjust and oppressive ways which leads destruction and replacement by another nation.

  13. RR man and J man watch out ingey!! We know what you guys are up to. We also know how much money you all have plundered and had been hiding in places like Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore..!!! We are not gonna let you guys walk away scot free!!

  14. Yameen, the guy who is capable to rock government as well as the main opposition deserves envy and hatred. Truly a fear for other politicians. Good job yaan.


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