“Too little, too late”: President’s Office dismisses chances of MDP coalition

President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan has decided not to include the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) in his national unity government, his advisor Ahmed ‘Topi’ Thaufeeg has told local media.

“It is too little, too late”, said President’s Office Spokesman Masood Imad, adding, “[the MDP] remain a viable opposition.”

Immediately after his accession to the presidency, Waheed announced that he would leave some cabinet posts vacant for the MDP.

However, feeling President Waheed to have taken power illegally, the MDP refused these overtures.

After the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) concluded that the transfer of power on February 7 did not amount to a coup, MDP Chairman ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik attended the newly-coined ‘Leader’s Dialogue’ meeting on Sunday.

Whilst local media had reported that Moosa requested a place for the MDP in the current government, Moosa himself told Minivan News yesterday that he had only asked for clarification on the MDPs position – whether it should be considered the ruling, or the opposition party.

Responding to this argument, Masood today said: “The point here is that the MDP fails to understand is that this is not a parliamentary system, it is a presidential system.”

This constitutional problem was also included in the observations of the CNI’s international observers.

“There are tensions within the Constitution itself with a Presidential system engrafted onto a Parliamentary system which will always be problematic,” commented Sir Bruce Robertson and Professor John Packer.

MDP Spokesman Hamid Abdul Ghafoor, who described some of the observers comments as “mocking a young democracy”,  today said the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) will discuss requesting a Supreme Court ruling on its role in the government.

“We don’t know who we are in government,” said Ghafoor.

“This is a sticky problem. The CNI’s assumptions are that the government has not changed, so it is the President’s prerogative to deliver on the MDP manifesto,” he continued.

President Waheed and his Gaumee Ittihad Party (GIP) joined the former coalition government, which included the MDP, the Jumhooree Party (JP) and the Adhaalath Party, to win the 2008 elections.

The coalition, however, began to break up after only 21 days when the JP withdrew. The Adhaalath Party was the last part to withdraw from the coalition in September 2011.

Local media today reported the Adhaalath party as having publicly lauded Waheed’s decision.

Sun Online reported Deputy Leader of Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) Ibrahim Shareef as saying that the MDP ought to be allowed into the government if it adapts its policies.

Ghafoor interpreted these comments as evidence that certain leaders are “jittery”: “They want to straighten this out”.

The issue of a constitution comprising elements of both presidential and parliamentary systems was discussed by Waheed his official visit to India in May.

“You know our constitution is pretty much a cut-and-paste constitution. We have elements of parliamentary system as well as presidential system,” Waheed told the diplomatic community in New Delhi.

“The presidency is very much fashioned after presidency in the United States, and the parliament functions as a parliamentary system like in the UK. So there are issues that have to be resolved around that,” he continued.

Ghafoor also drew comparisons with the US system, arguing that after the 1974 resignation of President Richard Nixon, his Vice-President and successor Gerald Ford did not reshuffle the executive.

Referring to the MDP’s purported requests to join the current government, Masood said, “If they are allowed to join the current government now – where is democracy?”

“We are one year away from elections where we can let the Maldivian people decide,” he added.


18 thoughts on ““Too little, too late”: President’s Office dismisses chances of MDP coalition”

  1. Look at this from another angle.

    Did MDP invite DRP participation when they had the opportunity?


    This is one instance an eye for an eye can be enacted here in Maldives.

  2. It is truly sad that MP Hamid Abdul Ghafoor did not understand CoNIs final report or our system of governance. If this is the state of our Parliamentarians then imagine the level of awareness among the common people.

    To answer MP Hamid Abdul Ghafoor's questions;

    1. We have a Presidential system of government where the people elect a President and Vice President running on a single ticket. The people do not elect a political party. The President has absolute power to appoint members to his government and he is under no legal obligation to select them from within his own party.

    Therefore dear Hamid, the people did not elect the MDP or DQP or JP or Adalat or SLP or MNC to the government in 2008. They elected Nasheed and Waheed. CoNI says Nasheed resigned and Waheed assumed power as provided in the Constitution. Therefore this is a Waheed administration now and his policies will be shaped by his Cabinet.

    2. CoNI or CNI's conclusion was exactly the opposite of what you claimed. The government DID INDEED change. The CNI's answer to the MDP's allegations was that this change did not come about due to a coup. It took place as provided under the Constitution thereby making Mohamed Waheed Hassan the current head of government.

    3. Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon are both from the US Republican Party founded in 1854. Waheed and Nasheed are from different political parties and Nasheed's Cabinet was filled persons that were "loyal" to him as Nasheed has stressed on several occasions. If the loyalty was to the Constitution and not for a personality the story might have been different. Hence the need for reshuffling. Also all of us who often roll out facts from other democracies should always keep in mind that some of these places such as the US have practiced the basic principles of democracy for around 200 or so years. While Maldives is still struggling to articulate its democratic leanings and translate them into a system of governance.

  3. If MDP joins Government, there would be no opposition then. No opposition Government are called directorships.

    And why would the remaining opposition party want to join the Government? Either the MDP wants to make the Maldives a real dictatorship by abandoning its roles as an opposition or MDP or being in opposition has become a drag...

    We feel you MDP.

  4. So CONI says that this is still the same government that was elected in 2008, but the current government is asking MDP to be the Opposition?!! Not sure which is more stupid, the CONI report or the government. In trying to cover up a lie, and the fact that what we have is really a coup government, the CNI report has really put this country in a bigger mess than it was pre CNI. Now MDP has very legitimate grounds to question why they should be the opposition when they are an elected party to run the government in 2008, and why indeed are unelected parties like DRP and PPM part of the government. Imad should have advised Waheed to think about the Opposition before including unelected parties, and parties that actually represent the Opposition into the MDP coalition government that Wahhed supposedly succeeded. So things are not so clear cut afterall eh, CONI report or not, and a pity that with international presence like Selvam and the Observers, the Report has turned out to be such a farce, that it actually poses more questions and problems, than it answers or resolves.

  5. 1. Surely MDP alone would not be given the reins of power on a silver plate. Stop day dreaming MDP!!!

    2. All the 2008 original Ithihaadhu parties have the rights to be in Government. They are there to stay.

    3. Alternatively, all the parties agree on a National Unity Government that includes all - But then no one would be in opposition, which is a more scary situation.

    4. MDP can argue to oust PPM and DRP. But they may still continuance to be in Government as members of JP or independents.

    5. Overall, it is a comical situation. Winner takes all. Looser looses all.

  6. Hamid must have drunk a bit of that cool aid again.
    What Coni said was the change was constitutional and not a new administration came into being. In a way they are right because Waheed was on the ballot as VP to Nasheed. tsk, is right in this case.
    What confuses the matter more is this administration themselves keep calling themselves a government. In fact it is not and what it is now is a Waheed administration.

    We elect a government when there is a Parliamentary democracy and not a Presidential one. In 2007 Maldivians voted for a Presidential democracy.
    MDP should stop agitating and get ready for the 2013 elections now.
    That is the best option.

  7. Hamid A. Gafoor : What a shame that having studied in Majeediyya during the school's "Golden Era" and later educated in Australia, can be this ignorant. No wonder you behaved like a monkey in the Parliament during Waheed's Presidential Address back in March. The 38th US president Gerald Ford was the only US President who was not elected to his office by the Electoral College. His predecessor Richard Nixon appointed Ford as Vice President on 6th December 1973 after Spiro Agnew resigned as vice president on October 1973 due to bribery and tax fraud charges. Gerald Ford’s appointment as VP was influenced by his position as the Republican House Minority Leader and was backed by several members of Nixon’s cabinet and White House staff. Gerald Ford took over the US Presidency when Richard Nixon resigned in August 1974 due to the Watergate scandal and he chose to continue with Nixon’s cabinet (with whose support and backing he got his initial appointment as VP).

    In case of 2008 presidential election in Maldives, MDP candidate Nasheed chose to select a running mate from outside his own party. After winning the election in the 2nd round with the backing of all the significant political parties except DRP and PA, President Nasheed fell out with his allies and VP Waheed, who was seen increasingly sidelined. In fact officially the Drug Rehab Program seemed to be the only job assigned to the Vice President. In less than a year Nasheed “shuffled” his cabinet pushing out (non-MDP) cabinet members from posts allocated to his allies and the vice president.

    By 2011 Nasheed’s Cabinet and inner circle was made up of couple of families and their financial sponsors - surprisingly among them relatives of the former Foreign Minister Fath’hulla Jameel. ( Aminath Jameel, Mohamed Shihab, Ameen Faisal, Farhanaz Faisal and Ibrahim Hussein Zaki ) This led to some people speculating whether MDP’s “Remote” was in Fath’hulla Jameel’s control (and even to some extent DRP’s "Remote" in the form of cousin and long time Foreign Affairs “boy” Abdulla Shahid, who was used to create discord within DRP resulting in the split & birth of PPM) This view was further highlighted when MDP after gaining control of the Majlis failed to make any move to replace Abdulla Shahid as Speaker and the untimely death of Mr. Jameel and the events that followed 7th February depicting a clear absence of the “Grand Chess-Master”.

    Three families belonging to Mohamed Amin’s “Kaleyfaanu Cartel” also benefited with top jobs and lucrative contracts i.e. Kerafa Kaleyfaanu – (Foreign and Education portfolio), DIK – (Defense and Finance portfolio) and Maizaan Family (Adam Manik-Transport State Minister, Umar Manik – All Renewable Energy Deals incl. Gaafaru Wind Farm and MVK’s Addu / Fua Mulaku transport and Male’ City Bus Service, just to name a few)

    Therefore one should be really surprised if Dr. Waheed did NOT re-suffle or in this case re-appoint the same people. Mr. Hamid, this is not a parliamentary system. The President has the legal right to shuffle, re-shuffle, appoint, re-appoint anybody into “HIS” cabinet. We should eliminate FOREVER the notion that a party or parties represent the Executive. We elect TWO individuals, one as the President and the other his running mate and VP to serve ALL the citizens of the State irrelevant of political affiliation. So please STOP labeling or use of words such as Ruling party or Opposition party or Coalition Government as we are not in UK, Israel or even India. Also stop talking about MDP’s Manifesto as Nashhed/Waheed team won the 2008 election not by selling MDP’s manifesto but by ONE common objective – The removal of the 30-year-old Gayyoom’s Dictatoship.

    MDP’s manifesto is made up of basic services like Housing, Health, water & sanitation, transport and affordable staple food commodities etc. EVERY government in any state or country MUST provide these basic services and should not be used as campaign promises to win elections.

  8. MDP should not join the so called Waheed and his kangaroo cabinet. Talking about to joining them puts MDP in a funny position. MDP should not accept this government politically though they have ceased their activity to prove illegality of Waheed because it is waste of time. MDP should focus to bang Waheed and his co gang and fight to reform judiciary and peacefully demonstrate everyday to give some work to police who like to show their muscles to ordinary people

  9. An eye for an eye was effective when Hammurabi was around in ancient Babylon.

    If you haven't noticed, really, this isn't ancient, nor is it Babylon.

  10. “We don’t know who we are in government,” said Ghafoor. Obviusely you wont bcos you are a majlis clowns and clowns are only good to give laughing show in a circus.

  11. I pray that MDP would not accept a place in the current government!

    Join traitors, you become a traitor too!

  12. @tsk tsk

    I am astounded that you would say that Nasheed’s Cabinet was filled persons that were “loyal” to him.

    If I remember correctly, there were 14 cabinet members, and MDP had only five cabinet ministers out of 14 in that cabinet. If you recall, the cabinet ministers from other parties resigned or they were asked to leave due to conflicts on policy.

    If you also recall, Dr Waheed signed an agreement with MDP, “the MDP Ithihaadh Manifesto”. He was elected as Nasheeds VP. If Dr Waheed was loyal to the President who made him VP and loyal to the people who elected him he would have resigned along with Nasheed.

    If Dr Waheed was indeed sworn in as President as the VP of President Nasheed, he must deliver on the promises of the MDP Ithihaadh Manifesto.

    If Dr Waheed beleives he does not have to honour the MDP Ithihaadh Manifesto, then he cannot be President because he is violating the agreement he signed with President Nasheed.

  13. the real traitor is Anni and he is the one who need to be put behind bar should we ever wish to have the peace in our country.

  14. What would be a national unity government like without the single largest political party of the country?

    The CNI report does not necessarily or effectively remove the doubt that the removal from office of president Nasheed was unlawful and process was a coup. The report itself contains facts evident of intimidation and coercion behind president Nasheed’s resignation. Unless forced by the situation, a president would not be expected to write the resignation letter on a podium in front of the media and surrounded by non-officials of neither the government nor the security forces responsible for his security. The mere intensity of the violence just outside the MNDF HQ where president Nasheed spent most of the time against his will before the alleged resignation is substantial and substantive evidence of intimidation and coercion.

    As a matter of fact, the Constitutional and electoral laws of the country do not provide for political alliance as such. Thus the MDP alliance in the run-off election of 2008 affords a contractual relation at its best among its partners. It has no legal or constitutional force for its disintegration to dissolve the government. It’s like supporters of a candidate joining hands in canvassing for votes in an election campaign.

    Under no circumstance does the present post-coup military junta enjoy constitutional or electoral mandate to rule but is under a constitutional obligation to hold an election giving the electorate a chance to choose their leader or president.

  15. The entire baaghee regime deserves punishment.

    The low-level police and army thugs can have the luxury of being executed by firing squad.

    The high-level 'key commanders' and 'stakeholders' will be interrogated, their funds and assets liquidated and then incarcerated in work camps, and made to work to the point they pray for death to take them.

    It is good that the MDP refused to offer reconciliation to the occupational MORDISIAN army.

  16. Waheed is a mere puppet who would not have a tune for him to dance to!
    He is on strings and he simply cannot move a limb without it being pulled!
    So, how on earth can he agree to anything?
    He say he was sworn in accordance with the constitution (When Nasheed resigned, VP was sworn in!), and that he is carrying on the wishes of the people who voted MDP candidate, President Nasheed!
    But, he cannot have MDP participating in the government the people brought in to rule them!!!!!!
    Peculiar, and yet he wants us to believe this rubbish!!!!!!


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