Jumhoree Party (JP) Deputy Leader Abdulla Jabir, after yesterday calling for the removal of the newly confirmed Health Minister Dr Ahmed Jamsheed, has today described him as “the perfect minister”, pledging his party’s full support to the cabinet member.
Speaking with Sun Online yesterday, Jabir was quoted as having said that the Health Ministry ‘slot’ had been assigned to JP and that, following Jamsheed’s refusal to sign with the party, it would consider proposing a no-confidence motion against him.
However, when contacted by Minivan News today regarding this issue, Jabir was in full support of the “highly qualified” Jamsheed.
“Jamsheed is a suitable person and we will support him”, said Jabir. “This is a coalition partner government and we have come to an understanding.”
Jabir made no attempt to disown the previous day’s comments – which included a threat to reconsider the JP’s position in the unity government – saying only, “that was yesterday”.
When asked about the issue of the cabinet ‘slots’, Jabir told Minivan News that this was no longer an issue and that the JP was happy to work with its coalition partners.
President spokesperson Abbas Adil Riza was similarly confident in the security of the government-aligned group.
“There is no chance that the JP will pull out of the coalition,” he said.
When asked about the allocation of certain ministries to certain parties, Abbas said that he wished to make no comment about the matter.
Jamsheed’s appointment was approved in the Majlis yesterday alongside three other cabinet posts. The ratifications became necessary after two new ministries had been created by President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan.
The cabinet changes entailed the division of the ‘Ministry of Health and Family’ into the ‘Ministry of Health’ and the ‘Ministry of Gender, Family and Human Rights’.
The ‘Ministry of Housing and Environment’ has now become the ‘Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure’ and the ‘Ministry of Environment and Energy’.
The approval for these posts was delayed after they failed to gain the approval in the government accountability committee. Yesterday’s vote was conducted on the full floor of the house.
Committee member Alhan Fahmy, who joined the JP at the start of June, sided with the opposition MDP members in blocking three of the four nominees .
The final nominee for the post of Minister of Gender – JP member Dhiyana Saeed – was approved by the committee after Fahmy abstained from this round of voting.
Speaking with local newspaper Haveeru before yesterday’s vote, Fahmy said he would again withhold his support for the candidates.
“I will not vote for them because I have doubts about the legitimacy of this government. I won’t vote because the Commission of National Inquiry has not issued a definitive statement. Because from my investigation, it seems this government had come to power from a coup,” Fahmy explained to Haveeru.
The JP’s Council had agreed last month that its leaders would forward the name of Dr Ibrahim Didi to the President for the position of Health Minister.
Didi joined the JP at the start of June after an acrimonious departure from the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP). Formerly the President of the MDP, Didi was elected, unopposed, to the newly created post of President of the JP shortly after having joined the party.