Pakistani high commissioner calls on president

The Pakistani High Commissioner, Mohamed Saeed Khan, this morning paid a call on President Abdulla Yameen.

Congratulating President Yameen on his November election victory, the Pakistani High Commissioner went on to discuss the expansion of bilateral ties – in particular, health, security, education, and sports.

The President’s Office has reported that Yameen conveyed his good wishes to Pakistani President Nawaz Sharif, whom he noted as a long-standing ally of the Maldives. He also expressed confidence that Maldivian-Pakistani relations would flourish during his tenure.

The meeting was also reportedly attended by Minister of Foreign Affairs Dunya Maumoon, Minister at the President’s Office Mohamed Hussain Shareef, and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hassan Shifau.


President Yameen to make official visit to Sri Lanka in late January

President’s Office has announced on Sunday that President Abdulla Yameen will be making an official state visit to Sri Lanka from January 21 to 23 with First Lady Fathimath Ibrahim on invitation of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

According to the statement, the president will focus on holding deliberation with his Sri Lankan counterpart on the further strengthening bilateral ties between the two countries.

In addition to talks between the two countries, Yameen will also meet with Maldivians living in Sri Lanka during the trip.

A business forum will also be organised in alignment with Yameen’s visit by the Sri Lankan-Maldivian Business Council to discuss ways to enhance business and investment ties between the two countries.

In addition to cabinet members and state officials Minister of Foreign Affairs Dunya Maumoon, Ministers at the President’s Office Mohamed Hussain Shareef and Abdulla Ameen, Foreign Secretary Ali Naseer Mohamed, and Commissioner of Police Hussain Waheed will travel.

Members of the government coalition and ruling party Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) will also be in the high level delegation which is to join Yameen on the state visit. This will  include coalition partner Jumhooree Party leader and Chairman of Villa Enterprises Gasim Ibrahim, coalition partner Maldives Development Alliance leader and Chairman of Sun Travels Ahmed Siyam, Vice President of PPM MP Abdul Raheem Abdulla, PPM Parliamentary Group (PG) Deputy Leader MP Moosa Zameer and Chief Whip of PPM PG MP Ali Arif.

According to Indian media, the invitation letter to visit Sri Lanka was delivered to Yameen during a courtesy call by the Sri Lankan High Commissioner Dickson Sarathchandra in December.


“Time tested” Indo-Maldivian ties to be celebrated during ‘Dosti- Ekuverikan’ week

The Indian High Commissioner to the Maldives today described President Abdulla Yameen’s visit to India as a “huge success”, as details of the India-Maldives ‘Dosti-Ekuverikan’ week were revealed.

“Many glowing accounts have been made of the visit – and rightly so…If I can quote what has been stated by various leaders in India, that a new chapter has been opened in the India-Maldives bilateral ties,” said Rajeev Shahare.

The High Commissioner as media were briefed on the series of cultural events between January 20 and January 26, celebrating the partners’ friendship.

The week – serving as a precursor to the golden jubilee celebrations of bilateral ties beginning in November – will feature film, music, and healthcare events.

Updating media on the state visit at the start of this month, Shahare stated that the positive reception received by President Yameen “reflects the strong, robust, time-tested ties between India and Maldives – dating back to several millenia.”

“The recent visit of the honourable President Yameen further underscores the depth of our ties, the strength of our ties, and also how two countries have always partnered each other,” he added.

Upon Yameen’s return, the trip was lauded as a cure-all for recent tensions between the two states – with former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom describing current ties as being as strong as during his thirty year tenure.

Shahare noted that there was a “very useful” business forum on the sidelines of the visit, organised by the three apex chambers of Indian business.

Yameen’s calls for Indian businesses to invest in the Maldives had already resulted in interest being shown by two Indian companies in the Malé-Hulhumalé bridge project, said the High Commissioner.

During a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Yameen was asked about the possibility of an amicable settlement in the GMR airport development dispute.

Indian infrastructure giant GMR’s 25-year concession agreement to develop Ibrahim Nasir International Airport was prematurely terminated by the previous administration – with whom Yameen’s Progressive Party of Maldives was aligned.

GMR’s  US$1.4 billion compensation case continues in Singapore whilst the Government of Maldives’ plans for continued development of the airport continue. Yameen has welcomed a return to the Maldives in the future, whilst maintaining that the airport must remain in government hands.

Dosti – Ekuverikan

Revealing details of this month’s friendship programme, the Indian High Commissioner stated that the events were intended to showcase the pair’s strong ties, and also to “bring forward what we intend to do in Maldives.”

After an inaugural event on January 20, Dosti-Ekuverikan week will begin with an Indian food festival at Traders Hotel. The ‘Taste of India’ festival will feature buffet servings from different regions of India over five nights.

A film festival will also be held at Schwack cinema from January 22-24.

Noting that the Indian government recognises that health care is a priority for the current Maldivian administration, the Dosti week will include a free eye camp at IGMH and in Hulhumalé, as well as blood donation camps at the National Thalassemia Centre in Malé.

“We will be getting a four member opthamological team. Two eye surgeons and two technicians will come here…This eye camp will render a free check-up, will also provide free spectacles/glasses, and will also perform minor surgeries,” explained Shahare.

There will also be a yoga camp at the artificial beach on January 23.

Full schedule

  • Inauguration of Dosti-Ekuverikan week – January 20
  • ‘Taste of India’ food festival at Traders Hotel – January 21-25
  • Indian film festival at Schwack Cinemas – January 22-24
  • Yoga workshops at artificial beach area – January 23
  • Indian cultural evening at Dharubaaruge – January 24
  • Indian music festival featuring Indian group ‘What’s in the name’ – January 24-26
  • Free eye camps at IGMH – January 24-26
  • Blood donation camps as National Centre for Thalassemia – January 24
  • DOSTI quiz 2014 – January 24
  • National Art competition 2014, for all schoolchildren – January 15-31
  • Closing ceremony at Dharubaaruge – January 26

President appoints Ambassador at Large

President Abdulla Yameen has appointed Abdulla Hameed as Ambassador at Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Abdulla Hameed – who was previously serving as Honorary Consul of the Maldives in Seychelles – was appointed to his position on January 9, after 17 years of working in the Foreign Ministry.


“Nothing precedes ties with India” although ties with China also “very close”: President Yameen

President Abdulla Yameen has stated that while the Maldives has “close ties” with China, “nothing will precede ties with India, which are far more precious”.

Yameen told Indian media during his recent official trip to the country, that he had assured its leaders that the bond between the two neighbouring countries is “heartfelt” and “based on sentiments”.

“India’s primary concern has been security in the region, particularly in the Indian Ocean and our views on the issues are exactly similar to India’s views. So it was not a difficult proposition at all.”

“We have agreed and we have exchanged views on areas of concern such as security, fighting against terrorism and fighting against piracy in the Indian Ocean. So we are largely to gain from these matters that are a concern to India while we share the Indian sentiments and we have totally endorsed them,” he continued.

“While we have had a slight rough patch with India, the time of good relations far outweigh the rough patches we had. I suppose it is easy for us to be on the right track again,” Yameen said, referring to the issues between the countries following the cancellation of the airport development contract with Indian infrastructure giant GMR.

“My trip here is the testimony to that fact. This is my first visit after I assumed office and India has been a gracious host to me. The Prime Minister of India has been very generous and kind. The talks were absolutely satisfying,” Yameen opined about the outcome of the visit.

The two countries agreed on numerous plans to strengthen bilateral defence and security cooperation, to increase and protect businesses and investments, as well as assistance in multiple development projects.

However, Yameen dismissed questions regarding rising religious radicalism in the Maldives, stating that “there is nothing to worry about at this time”.

“There are people with different thoughts. Very orthodox views. But that has not escalated into an issue of concern. It has not been a source of concern. But yes, India and Maldives, we have both agreed on our position against terrorism, on piracy in the Indian Ocean,” he continued.

“Islamic sentiments are a thing that people hold privately. I would not like to categorize that. This is however not an issue to worry about at this point in time,” he said.

As recently as May 2013, however, both the Chief of Defence Force Major General Ahmed Shiyam and then Attorney General Aishath Bisham warned of increased risks of terror attacks and of Maldivian youth enrolling in terror training camps.

In the same month, Reporters Without Borders labelled Maldives’ extremist groups as “predators of press freedom”.

Development project agreements

India and the Maldives have agreed to begin implementation of an agreement on cooperation in development projects signed in 2011 titled the “Framework Agreement on Cooperation for Development”.

The Agreement, signed during the administration of former President Mohamed Nasheed, mandates the establishment of a joint commission to oversee projects implemented under the programme, and a minimum of one annual meeting of the said commission.

A joint statement released by the two governments announced that the commission’s inaugural meeting will be held in 2014.

President Yameen stated on Monday that the ties between Maldives and India has been at their closest in the past 50 years during the time when his half brother and leader of ruling Party Progressive Party of Maldives Maumoon Abdul Gayoom was in power.

Yameen stated that the close ties are a direct result of Gayoom’s foreign policy, and the maintenance of mutual respect between the two countries since that time. He asserted that the current government will be re-implementing the foreign policy that Gayoom had made during his administration.

He stated that dignitaries from among India’s leadership had stated the same during the meetings held in his official visit.

Following Yameen’s return to the country on January 4, Gayoom made an official visit to the President’s Office on Monday to assure the government of unwavering cooperation and assistance from the ruling party.


Government claims India ties “as strong as during Gayoom’s time”

President Abdulla Yameen has returned to the Maldives after an official trip to India, where both countries made multiple mutual agreements of cooperation for the development of various sectors.

Speaking to media upon his return, both Vice President Mohamed Jameel Ahmed and Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) leader and former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom have claimed that ties with India have become “as strong as they were during Gayoom’s time in power”.

It was claimed that rifts between the countries had risen as a result of the failure of the Nasheed and Waheed administrations to raise inter-country discussion as a key strategy.

Upon returning from his trip, President Yameen briefed the media on the various deliberations that had taken place between the Maldivian government’s high level delegation and their counterparts in India during the trip from January 1 to 4.

He stated that the delegation was able to find solutions for “a large part of the major difficulties” the country is facing at the moment, predicting ease in the obtainment of visa and the availability of basic food staples, fuel and construction material.

He added that long deliberations had also been held regarding regional maritime security.

The president also extended an invitation to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to visit the Maldives.

SBI to increase lending, GMR to get cash compensation

Yameen revealed that talks had been held with representatives from the State Bank of India (SBI) regarding the granting of an increase in the amount of loans released by the bank’s branch in the Maldives – titled ‘portfolio landing’. The president stated that this would benefit customers of SBI and businesses investing in the country.

“Indian leaders pledged to provide approximately one billion dollars needed for development of the Maldives to SBI, and that this will facilitate businesses in the country in the near future,” member of the visiting delegation and government coalition partner Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) leader Ahmed Shiyam stated.

Shiyam went on to describe the trip as “the most successful trip a Maldivian leader has ever made to India”.

President Yameen stated on Saturday that GMR – Indian infrastructure giant with which the former administration had made a contract for airport development – would not be given the airport as compensation for cancelling the agreement, but rather would be given the compensation in the form of money.

He stated the government is currently considering ways of solving this matter at a time when “the state budget itself is so tight”, claiming that he had suggested a resolution other than the renewal of the contract.

“My hope is that the GMR matter can be solved with the government having to pay a fine that is affordable,” he stated, adding that while the company has informed local media that the compensation fee is US$1.2 billion, the amount was quoted as US$700 to 800 million by former Attorney General Azima Shakoor.

He revealed that the government’s approach is to find a solution agreeable to both parties prior to the completion of the arbitration case, which they believe will increase India government’s trust in the Maldivian government.

“Truth is that according to my calculations GMR has invested about 168 to 170 million dollars, and so there is no question as to whether they are entitled to compensation. Compensation must be granted. The question, however, is whether we have to pay the full amount that they are claiming,” Yameen said.

Protection of investments

Additionally, India pledged to provide funds for the establishment of a police academy and a composite training facility for the MNDF security forces. Agreements were also made by which India will provide funds to repair and develop the Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) in the capital city, Malé.

Further plans were made to facilitate better connections between Cochin, in India, and Male’ via sea and air travel. Both leaders also noted that it is of crucial importance to introducing direct flights between the Maldives and Delhi.

The leaders signed two agreements regarding the health sector, and an agreement regarding the provision of land from India to construct a Maldivian Embassy.

Vice President Jameel stated that bilateral relations were now “approaching the close ties that were seen before”.

“With the President’s trip, we have the opportunity of raising to a whole new level the historically strong bonds between the two countries. India has fulfilled everything that the Maldives requested for,” Jameel is quoted as saying in local media.

He further  claimed that the struggles the Maldives had to undergo in the past five years have been solved with a single trip to India by President Yameen, with former President Gayoom backing this assertion.

“During the President’s trip, India has given assurance that we will be soon enjoying a relationship as devoid of problems as the one we had during the time I was in power,” Gayoom told local media. “Things will soon be as smooth as they were during my time. We are seeing an end to the problems we have at present.”


Religion and nationalism key themes on National Day

The government held an event inaugurated by Vice President Mohamed Jameel Ahmed at the Republican Square on Wednesday night to mark the Maldives’ 440th National Day.

The day is marked to celebrate the anniversary of the country’s independence from the Portugese invasion.

Members of the cabinet, foreign dignitaries, members of independent commissions as well as the security forces attended the event.

President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom – who is currently in India on his first official trip abroad after assuming office in November 2013 – also gave a pre-recorded national address via the state broadcaster on the occasion.

In his address, the President stated no individual must be allowed the opportunity to take away the nation’s peace for political purposes or to gain personal benefit.

While it is important to view every citizen as a stakeholder in matters of the country, people should not be given the chance to challenge nationalism or conduct any activity that may threaten independence and sovereignty in the guise of freedom of expression or through differences in political opinions, Yameen continued.

“We must instill the spirit of nationalism in the younger generations who will inherit this country in future. The moral we must take away from National Day is for those in power and leading the country, citizens and all responsible leaders to raise national and community interest over personal interest as we work to overcome challenges. This is the example set by Mohamed Thakurufaanu [Maldivian ruler who saved the country from the Portuguese conqueres who ruled the country from 1558 to 1573]. This is the true meaning of his jihad in national interest back on that day,” Yameen stated.

“We must repeat the work our ancestors conducted in rain and shine. The reason we are to take breaths of independence today is due to the glorious jihad and sacrifices they made then for the sake of gaining independence. The country will not be able to take breaths of independence tomorrow unless we succeed in doing major work to overcome economic slavery and establish economic contentment,” he continued.

He pledged to fulfil his term serving all citizens equally and justly.

“I will make this government into one that is kind to its people, and loved by the people. I will bring swift changes as is desired by people and take the Maldives into a new era of development. My team and I will not be deterred in our work regardless of how rough the political seas we must cross become,” he concluded his address.

National Pride

“The spirit of nationalism can be maintained in its purest form only when social justice is established in the country,” Vice President Jameel said, speaking at Wednesday’s event.

The current government would work following the example set by Mohamed Thakurufaanu, Jameel said and called on citizens to protect the country’s independence and sovereignty.

“True nationalism can only be experienced with the improvement of living standards, and the country develops its health and education sectors,” he said.

“The nation must today be covetous of its national pride, of increasing self-sufficience, and should not let go of the national character. Today, if one has love for nationalism, one will not damage the country’s social fabric. One will not give away the country’s economic power into the hands of a foreign party. They will not sell off the national identity to a foreign group with no consideration towards national pride just for political gain. They will not let things go to the point where the country is stripped of the right to speak up about its own internal matters,” Jameel continued.

He appealed to the public to ensure that no one allows any other person to “damage the brotherly bonds between us in the name of establishing democracy, or in things that arise from differences in opinion, or any other cause”.

He then said that the day emphasizes the bridge between nationalism and islam in the country, adding that thus what must be given highest priority is the strengthening religious faith.

“Psychological war against religion, nationalism”

Home Minister Umar Naseer warned in his speech at the same event that there is an “ongoing psychological war aiming to lead astray our faith in Islam, and break up our ties of nationalism, a war that is escalating at a very fast speed”.

He stated that while this is a global danger, the Maldives is not far removed from being in its “line of fire”. Stating that the currently is already being affected by it, he appealed to all Maldivians to refrain from joining the “war” against the nation.

“For a Maldivian son to become a slave of this psychological war is like a cancer cell forming in the body of this nation. It is a huge danger,” he stated.

“It is important to become more independent in the country’s development work, and to give up depending on foreign labourers. There is no reason that the sons of fathers who scraped moss off the underside of fishing boats have to depend on a foreigner just to dust off their motorcycles,” the Home Minister said.

“Ours is a blessed land. It is a land that breeds heroes. Every time a foreign power has tried to meddle with our independence or our Islamic faith, Maldivian soil has brought out heroes that will cause the whole world to step back from,” Umar stated.

Irreligious acts are common today: Adhaalath Party

Religious conservative Adhaalath Party has also released a statement today, extending greetings on the occasion.

The statement spoke of the heroic events of Mohamed Thakurufaanu who had “slain the Portugese commander who had tried to force alcohol down the throats of pious Maldivians”, and then proceeded to compare heroes of the past with present day Maldives.

“The biggest difference is the mentality of Maldivians then and the mentality of Maldivians today. Then, when attempts were made to force alcohol down their throats, they resisted. Yet today, alcohol and narcotics is an epidemic which is alarmingly common among Maldivians,” it read.

“Then the Portuguese tried to force other religions unto Maldivians. Yet today, irreligious acts against Islamic norms are abundantly observed among Maldivians. This is not something the government can deal with by making it the mandate of a specific ministry, but a goal that all institutes must unite to reach.”


President to discuss visa issues, business prospects with India

President Abdulla Yameen has said he will be seeking solutions to the difficulties Maldivians face in getting travel visas to India, and obtaining construction materials during his official visit to the country.

Yameen, however, claimed that the government does not intend to re-establish the contract with the Indian Company GMR to develop the country’s only international airport.

“One of the biggest obstacles faced by Maldivians travelling to India, especially those travelling for medical purposes, as well as students, is the difficulty in getting visa approval. That is something I will discuss during this trip,” Yameen told the press prior to his departure.

“The Foreign Ministry and the Immigration Department has already conducted a lot of work on this manner and we have hopes that there will soon be a solution to this,” said the president.

Yameen will be accompanied by the first lady on the official trip, taken after an invitation from Indian President Shri Pranab Mukherjee.

“In the context of businesses and general conditions, these are days when the country is facing trouble in getting construction material like building rocks and rock boulders. We have even previously talked about this,” he continued.

Yameen stated that, in addition to his own discussions, the government delegation travelling with him will also be conducting deliberations with their Indian counterparts, adding that he hoped the discussions would pave way for prospects beneficial to the Maldivian people.

He revealed that the main focus of the trip will explore ways in which India can assist in dealing with the difficulties currently faced by the Maldivian business and health sectors.

“Among the agreements, prospects for the health sector is included. Otherwise, we are generally going towards some agreements to seek assistance for the business sector. I believe that through discussions, there are numerous ways in which we can move forward together,” he stated.

“Similar to the Maldives, India too needs some time to make arrangements. Since our requests are large scale, it will take time for them to get approval from their parliament. However, the Indian government’s responses to us are very positive,” Yameen said.

Besides the Indian government, the Maldivian delegation will also be meeting key members of India’s business sector, Yameen said.

Also taking part in these meetings will be the leaders of ruling coalition parties, Gasim Ibrahim -Jumhooree Party – and Ahmed Siyam – Maldives Development Alliance. The two also chair the business groups Villa Enterprises and Sun Travels, respectively.

This is the president’s first official trip abroad since assuming office in November 2013.

Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon, President’s Office Minister Mohamed Hussain Shareef, Health Minister Mariyam Shakeela, Economic Minister Mohamed Saeed, Tourism Minister Ahmed Adheeb, State Minister for Youth and Sports Gassan Maumoon and Foreign Secretary Dr Ali Naseer Mohamed will also be accompanying Yameen.

“No intention to bring back GMR”

Yameen said that the GMR issue is currently in the arbitration stage and has dismissed claims that the government may renew the airport development contract with the company.

“This government does not intend to give the whole airport back to GMR. I do not anticipate that the Indian government will discuss the GMR issue with us, it has not done so before. The GMR issue is not one which concerns the government of India,” Yameen stated.

“The matter is between two companies, albeit the companies being ones important to both governments. Why the airport is important to us is because it is one of the major earning sources for us, and because the company is a 100 percent state owned enterprise. In the same manner, GMR might be important to the current government in power in India,” he explained.

Yameen said representatives from GMR may be present in meetings with the business sector, but denied that the government would be meeting specifically with the company to discuss the airport issue.

“GMR representatives have not even requested to meet them separately. Thus, the GMR matter is not a notable focus in this trip of mine,” he said.

Yameen said that instead of renewing the GMR contract, the government is currently focusing on how the state can pay the compensation fee to the company, and that the matter was being dealt with in the official arbitration.

GMR Chair G M Rao told Indian media last month that he expected the US$1.4 billion wrongful termination claim to be resolved by May.

However, India’s Economic Times has reported that “the Manmohan Singh government will seek the creation of a climate conducive to Indian investment in the Maldives when president Abdulla Yameen arrives in Delhi on January 1 on his maiden visit abroad after being elected head of state.”

“This includes the resolution of disputes relating to GMR’s airport project and the allocation of a site for a Tata housing project,” continued the paper.


Majlis endorses full cabinet

The People’s Majlis has endorsed all 15 of President Abdulla Yameen’s cabinet ministers.

Ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM), coalition partners Jumhooree Party (JP) and Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) as well as six members of the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) voted to approve ministerial nominees.

The ministers were endorsed despite the Majlis’ Executive Oversight Committee’s decision to reject eight out of the 15 cabinet ministers on Saturday. The opposition majority committee said the eight were “ministers of the coup government” established after the controversial transfer of power in February 2012.

The MDP enforced a three line whip in rejecting the eight ministers, but had a free whip on voting for the remaining seven.

The six MDP parliamentarians who breached the three line whip are Abdulla Jabir, Zahir Adam, Ahmed Rasheed, Mohamed Rasheed, Abdulla Abdul Raheem and Ahmed Easa.

Two MDP parliamentarians – Ali Waheed and Alhan Fahmy – voted against all fifteen ministers.


During Monday’s vote, 73 out of 77 parliamentarians were in attendance.

Among the 15 cabinet members, Attorney General Mohamed Anil, Minister of Economic Development Mohamed Saeed and Minister of Environment and Energy Thoriq Ibrahim received the highest number of votes in endorsement, with each minister receiving 64 votes.

Minister of Education Aishath Shiham and Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Mohamed Shainee received 63 votes each.

Minister of Youth and Sports Mohamed Maleeh Jamal received 58 votes, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dunya Maumoon received 55 votes.

Minister of Tourism Ahmed Adeeb received 45 votes, with Minister of Defence and National Security Mohamed Nazim, Minister of Transport and Communication Ameen Ibrahim and Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Mohamed Muizzu each receiving 44 votes.

Minister of Finance and Treasury Abdulla Jihad, Minister of Islamic Affairs Sheikh Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed and Minister of Health and Gender Aishath Shiham received 43 votes each.

Minister of Home Affairs Umar Naseer got endorsed with the least number of votes, receiving only 41 in favour from a total of 73.

Pre-vote Debate

The Speaker allowed one member from each party to speak on the parliament floor about the report prepared by the Executive Oversight Committee.

Progressive Party of Maldives MP Abdul Raheem Abdulla called on the parliament to endorse all members, specifically calling on opposition members to follow “the courageous example set by [MDP] Presidential Candidate Nasheed. He said that Yameen’s cabinet is compiled of the most capable selection of ministers that the country has seen to date.”

Jumhooree Party (JP) MP Ilham Ahmed stated that the constitution demands that all ministers be endorsed. “There will be no reasons for regret by endorsing this cabinet. In any case, if there arises a need, the parliament has a mechanism through which we can hold ministers accountable. Jumhooree Party will not shy away from taking action against any cabinet member, whichever party he may come from, should he do something that may cause a loss to citizens,” he stated.

Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) MP Ahmed Amir stated that “it is unacceptable to not be able to endorse ministers without appeasing a particular individual”, and alleged that the Government Oversight Committee had not acted justly in reviewing the cabinet appointees.

Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) member Riyaz Rasheed added that there is no appointee against whom questions of capability can be raised. He added that the parliament should not set any conditions when voting to endorse ministers.

Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Mohamed ‘Colonel’ Nasheed said that the party will endorse members as appointing ministers is the mandate of the President. He added that the party would employ a moderate approach in holding the government accountable.

Independent MP Ibrahim Muhtholib stated that all 15 ministers met the qualifications required in a cabinet appointee. He alleged that the committee had failed to present sufficient reasoning for their refusal to endorse over half of the cabinet.

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik stated that the party’s members would vote to endorse those they saw fit, and not the rest.

“There needs to be an opposition that holds the government accountable, and today that role is ours. We are a responsible party and we will do what it takes to hold the government accountable, even if it means bringing citizens out on to the streets [to hold demonstrations],” he stated.

“MDP stands strictly against coup d’etats. And even if a baaghee [traitor] changes their clothes and comes infront of us, we can see that they still have the characteristics of a baaghee.”


The Executive Oversight Committee – compiled of a majority of 6 MDP members from a total of 10 – previously decided to reject endorsement of eight ministers.

The committee rejected endorsement of Nazim, Adheeb, Shaheem, Shakeela, Ameen, Jihad and Muizzu on the grounds that they were “coup ministers” as they had served in the previous Waheed administration.

The committee also rejected Home Minister Umar Naseer saying that various speeches given by him at political rallies made it “evident that he will not be loyal to Yameen”.