MDP agrees conditional participation in “interim government”

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has agreed to join an interim government that would pave the way for an early presidential election on the condition that five senior officials of Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik’s government are removed from their posts.

At a press conference yesterday, Male’ City Councillor ‘Sarangu’ Adam Manik read out a statement from an advisory sub-committee of MDP’s national council outlining the party’s position, which holds that “a government installed in a coup d’etat does not have the constitutional authority to form a national unity government.”

The former ruling party’s national council had passed a resolution on February 8 declaring that it would not recognise the “illegal government” of Dr Waheed.

“As President Mohamed Nasheed always places public interest first, his advice was, given that this problem can only be resolved with the participation of the people, to call for an early election,” Manik explained.

In response to Dr Waheed’s invitation to join a national unity government, Manik said the party considered the formation of such a government unlawful.

“However as the party also believes that the national interest would not be upheld without the participation of the largest political party, the Maldivian Democratic Party, and because this party has also worked in the interests of and for the benefit of the people, the party has informed Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik that we are ready to participate with conditions in an interim mechanism to be formed to prepare for an early election,” he stated.

The MDP’s condition is for Dr Waheed to dismiss Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim, Home Minister Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed, Commissioner of Police Abdulla Riyaz, State Minister for Home Affairs Mohamed Fayaz and Chief of Defence Forces Ahmed Shiyam.

The party contends that the individuals in question were actively involved in the coup d’etat. On the morning of February 7, following the police mutiny, Nazim, Riyaz and Fayaz entered the MNDF headquarters to negotiate with President Nasheed and announced to the protesters that they had demanded Nasheed’s “unconditional resignation” by 1.30pm.

Meanwhile, MDP’s national council convened for an emergency meeting this afternoon and decided to hold a primary to choose its presidential candidate as required under party regulations.