Speaker of Parliament Abdulla Shahid has today confirmed his resignation from the government-aligned Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) amid rumours of his defection to the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).
“As of today I have resigned from DRP. I shall continue to avail every opportunity to serve our nation and its people,” Shahid tweeted today.
However, Shahid declined to comment on speculation that he would be defecting to the MDP.
“I have left DRP as I’ve announced via Twitter. Other than that, I have no comment today,” he said via SMS.
DRP Spokesperson Zeena Zahir confirmed to local media today that Shahid’s resignation letter was submitted to the party’s office.
Speaking at a rally in Addu City last night, MDP MP Ali Waheed claimed that Shahid would move to the former ruling party.
Meanwhile, MDP Spokesperson MP Hamid Abdul Gafoor told Minivan News that, “Shahid resigned from DRP and he has not denied a possible switch to MDP, but he has not announced such a switch officially either.”
“It is speculated and he has assisted us [the MDP] a lot, but I can’t say for sure because we are very hands off. It is his decision to make,” Hamid added.
“A meeting between Shahid and MDP may occur April 19 but it’s not confirmed,” he said. “Although everyone is being very coy, one can read between the lines.”
Local media reported recently that three other DRP MPs – MP Mohamed ‘Colonel’ Nasheed, MP Ali Azim and MP Hassan Adil – were also preparing to join the opposition.
The supposed reason for their defection, as reported in local media, was a clash among the party’s MPs.
Media reports also speculated that Shahid’s resignation and the possible defections of MPs resulted from the fallout of a clash within the DRP parliamentary group over its wavering stand on no-confidence motions against Home Minister Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed.
A source in the MDP alleged to Minivan News that DRP Leader MP Ahmed Thasmeen Ali brokered a “last minute deal” with the government in exchange for DRP MPs abstaining in the no-confidence votes.
Newspaper Haveeru meanwhile reported today that Shahid signed for MDP yesterday (April 14) and that an official announcement would be made at a rally planned for the weekend.