Thasmeen to stick with Nasheed in re-scheduled poll

Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) Leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali has today announced his intention to maintain his new alliance with the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) going into the re-scheduled presidential elections.

After running as the vice-presidential candidate on the ticket of incumbent President Dr Mohamed Waheed, Thasmeen and his DRP announced their decision to support Mohamed Nasheed in the scheduled run-off just days after Waheed received just 5% of the popular vote.

“I believe that it would be an irresponsible and cowardly act to back away from doing what must be done to ensure that democracy is upheld in this country due to some words I might have said in the past. And therefore, tonight I assure all of you that DRP will do everything we possibly can to help Nasheed win these elections,” Thasmeen told an MDP rally one week after the first poll.

Despite the Supreme Court’s decision to annul the first round of voting, Thasmeen told local media today of his intention to continue his MDP alliance.

Waheed has yet to announce if he will run as a candidate in the upcoming election – with the first round to be held by October 20.


DRP leaders ask VP about reaction to presidential overthrow in midnight meeting

Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik met with a senior delegation of opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) leaders last night at midnight on their request, Minivan News has learned.

Members of the press waited outside the residence of the Vice President seeking comment from the delegation when they emerged, however the delegation declined to comment and quickly rushed away.

The media noted that members of the delegation included the DRP Deputy Leaders Umar Naseer and Ilham Ahmed, and MPs Ahmed Mahlouf and Ali Arif.

Today DRP MP Ahmed Nihan told Minivan News that during the meeting the delegates discussed the constitutional issues faced by the country, and asked Dr Waheed how he might react should President Nasheed be removed from office.

”MP Mahlouf told me they met the vice president and clarified what would be his reaction in the event this government was toppled by a no-confidence motion in parliament, or overthrown in any case,” said Nihan. ”I do not have detailed information.”

Nihan accused President Nasheed of failing to uphold the constitution, and “unlawfully locking” the Supreme Court.

Dr Waheed himself did not respond to Minivan News at time of press, however Minivan News understands that the Vice President was non-committal, and explained that such matters were the DRP’s prerogative. He allegedly claimed he would not speak out against the current government, or run for President in 2013 should such a scenario arise, but would continue with the programs of the current government. The topic of who would become Vice President in such a situation was not raised, Minivan News understands.

The government last month accused several MPs, including Jumhoree Party (JP) MP Gasim Ibrahim and People’s Alliance (MP) Abdulla Yameen, of bribery and treason after six ruling-party MDPs informed the President that they had been offered bribes to vote against the government.

The opposition has a majority in parliament but not the two-thirds majority it would require to impeach the President or Vice-President, for which it would require the votes of MDP MPs as well as independents.

DRP Spokesperson and deputy leader Ibrahim Shareef said he had no information that a party delegation had met with the vice president in an official capacity.

‘’All I know is that no person from the DRP has met with the vice president officially. I am not saying that they did not meet, but if it was an official meeting, it would be approved by the party council,’’ said Shareef.

DRP MP Abdulla Mausoom said that if the party wished to disclose information on the matter, “we will call for a press meeting.”

DRP MP Ahmed Mahlouf and DRP Deputy Leader Umar Naseer were not responding at time of press.