DRP to contest six seats in parliamentary elections

The Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) has announced that the party will field six candidates in the upcoming parliamentary elections scheduled for March 22.

Along with present leader, MP Mohamed ‘Colonel’ Nasheed – who will be standing for the Laamu Isdhoo seat – the other candidates are Badrudeen Naseem for the Kanditheemu constituency, Ismail Zakariyya for the Dhuvafaru constituency, Ahmed Shareef for the Galolhu South constituency, Assad Shareef for the Machangoalhi South constituency, and Lirqam Saeed for the Maavah constituency.

Nasheed told the press on Thursday that the constituencies were determined by the DRP council based on the party’s support in the selected islands.


More MPs could desert MDP for Gasim’s JP, claims MDP MP

A member of MDP parliamentary group has told Minivan News on condition of anonymity that it is “very likely” that at least two more MPs could desert the party and join Gasim Ibrahim’s Jumhoree Party (JP).

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Abdulla Abdulraheem rejoined the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) earlier this week, a year after leaving his original party while it was in opposition.

A JP council member told private broadcaster DhiTV that two Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MPs were to join the party next month.

Minivan News’s source alleged the MPs could include MP for Nolhivaram constituency, Mohamed ‘Colonel’ Nasheed, and MDP MP for Mid-Fuvamulah Shifaq ‘Histo’ Mufeed.

‘’These are the two names that have been rumored, it is possible that they may leave MDP and join JP,’’ he said. ‘’They are close to JP Leader Gasim Ibrahim and they are personal friends.’’

The source suggested that although current rumours suggested that MDP Deputy Leader and MP Alhan Fahmy was also going to leave MDP, it was unlikely “as long as he is in the position of Deputy Leader.’’

Alhan came to MDP after the then-opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) decided to take action against him after he voted in favor of the then-Foreign Minister Dr Ahmed Shaheed, in a no-confidence motion in parliament to oust him.

The source also said it was unlikely that MDP MP for Thoddoo constituency Ali Waheed who was a former Deputy Leader of DRP, would leave MDP.

‘’The story inside MDP is that Colonel Nasheed and Shifaq are planning to join Gasim, who has been acting very proud lately telling everyone that he was the one who ousted both former Presdient Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and former President Mohamed Nasheed,’’ he said, adding that Gasim had also been boasting that he would ousted the present government and become president.

The source said the traumatic ousting of the MDP had brought the whole party behind former President Nasheed, and that the MDP remained proud of him.

Asked to respond to reports that they were considering joining the JP, MP ‘Colonel’ Nasheed told Minivan News that there was “nothing to talk about”, while Shifaq had not responded to calls at time of press.


Parliament’s approval of Financial Bill will impact pledges, say MDP

The parliament has today approved a Financial Bill including an amendment which declares that government can only lease a state asset or could borrow money from a foreign country under specific legislation approved by parliament.

The bill was approved 41 in favour to 33 against out of 75 members present.

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Mohamed ‘Colonel’ Nasheed said he regretted the bill had been passed and that he was “very concerned” over its approval.

”All the services that MDP has planned to provide for the people will be disrupted according to this bill,” said Nasheed.

”Right now there is a hung parliament and it is very difficult to bring out and sufficient results from it.”

Nasheed said that responsibility for the country’s financial condition was the duty of the President and the Finance Ministry, according to the constitution.

”The Bill was not approved in the best interests of the country,” he added. ”I regret the approved amendments [governing privatisation].”

Spokesperson for MDP Ahmed Haleem said the bill was approved according to “the self-interest of two or three businessmen in parliament.”

”This bill will obstruct the public and private partnership policy of the government,” said Haleem. ”It was not passed for the benefit of the people of the country.”

However, Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Dr Abdulla Mausoom said that the government was required to govern the country “according to how its people wish.”

”The parliament represents the people,” Dr Mausoom said, ”and according to the bill, the government will now need the approval of the parliament when leasing state assets or taking loans from other countries.”

Dr Mausoom said the parliament “belongs to the people” and would only make decisions “for the benefit of the people.”

”I do not see any article in the bill that disrupts the government’s pledges,” he said. ”Privatising Male’ International Airport was not a pledge of the government.”

A senior government official Minivan News spoke to during the privatisation signing ceremony accused the opposition “of running a scorched earth policy to deny the government any chance of improving the country. It’s so short sighted – what do they hope to inherit if they gain power in the next election?”