Opposition parties deny signing agreement to topple government

The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), Jumhooree Party (JP), and Adhaalath Party (AP) have denied signing an agreement to topple the government.

A document was leaked to local media today purporting to be an agreement signed by leaders of the three parties to overthrow President Abdulla Yameen’s administration with the help of foreign benefactors.

“It is blatantly a big lie,” said MDP Chairperson Ali Waheed at a press conference of the ‘Maldivians against brutality’ alliance this afternoon.

Referring to an agreement signed between the MDP and JP last month, Waheed said the MDP would only sign an agreement “in front of the Maldivian people and the media” after seeking approval from the national council.

Waheed reiterated calls for President Yameen to initiate inter-party dialogue to resolve the current political crisis.

AP President Imran Abdulla said a “charter” for the opposition alliance has been drafted and was ready to be signed, insisting that an agreement has not been signed to date.

On the leaked documents, Imran suggested the government was trying “a different version” of the “pen drive philosophy” following public incredulity over confidential documents allegedly leaked from a pen drive confiscated from former Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim’s apartment.

The documents published by online news outlet Vaguthu yesterday contained alleged plans by Nazim to assassinate President Abdulla Yameen and Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb.

Accusing the government of leaking the false agreement to the media, Imran facetiously said the documents should have been discovered in bedside drawers of the opposition party leaders, referring to police allegedly discovering the pen drive along with a pistol and three bullets during a midnight raid on Nazim’s apartment on January 18.

The opposition maintains that Nazim was “framed” after rogue police officers planted the weapon, whilst the police chief has denied the allegations.

Imran suggested that the government’s intention with the leaked agreement was to “create doubts among the public towards us,” adding that such efforts were instead backfiring.

The government was losing public confidence and “exposing” themselves whilst the opposition was gaining strength and momentum, Imran contended.

JP Deputy Leader Ameen Ibrahim meanwhile noted that the party’s council has not officially decided to participate in the new alliance and insisted that JP Leader Gasim Ibrahim would not sign such an agreement.

Ameen referred to a similar “fake document” purporting to be an agreement between the MDP and JP ahead of the parties officially forming an alliance.

The alliance agreement was signed at a joint rally and made publicly available, he noted.

MP Ahmed Mahloof – who allegedly signed as a witness – said the leaked document was a sign of the government’s growing “desperation.”

Sheikh Imran, at the alliance’s street protest last night, said the opposition would bring an end to the government’s “brutality” through street protests.

Leaked agreement

According to newspaper Haveeru, several sources have confirmed the authenticity of the leaked agreement.

“The agreement – signed at Qasim Ibrahim’s Paradise Island Resort – highlights five key points. Said points are: to tackle, at any cost, President Yameen and his allies’ unconstitutional actions, to put an end to their gang-utilised harassment of citizens, politicians, and journalists, to bring the government’s unlawful actions to the attention of the international community and have international actors pressure the government, to increase support from parliamentarians and other organisations,” reads the Haveeru article.

The alliance was to form a steering committee both to oversee street protests and travel across the country to seek public support.

Moreover, the alliance would topple the government if President Yameen’s administration fails to heed its demands, the agreement stated, after which the parties would back Vice President Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed as the new president until the next presidential election.

Photo from Haveeru
Photo from Haveeru