'Adhaalath has monopolized the govt', says Nasheed

Speaker of the Parliament and former President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed has stated that the ruling coalition's partner, Adhaalath Party has 'monopolized' the government.

In a statement issued via Twitter on Saturday, Nasheed heavily criticized the religiously conservative party. In his statement, Nasheed said although the main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) won the presidential election by a large margin, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has made it clear that he would allow Adhaalath, which is a minor coalition partner, to monopolize his decisions. He also said it has become clear that the current dynamics of the coalition violate every principle of MDP's representative democracy.

Nasheed also hinted that the vast majority of Maldivians are progressive and therefore do not support the ideologies of Adhaalath Party. He said that the majority of Maldivian people cherish liberty, freedom of expression, music, culture, and economic prosperity and that they hold moderate religious views. Maldivians did not vote for religious extremists who deny their liberty but instead voted for progressive candidates who share similar views to their ideologies, said Nasheed, adding that the people voted for MDP for its principles, love of freedom, equality and vibrant Maldivian culture and heritage.

While Nasheed criticized Adhaalath Party, the development comes at a time when the relationship between President Solih and Nasheed has deteriorated significantly. Nasheed has denounced any political alignment with Solih and said he wishes to form a coalition with the main opposition, the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM). However, such a coalition can only be formed if PPM reforms some of its ideologies, including letting go of its anti-India agenda and supporting the so-called 'Hisaan Bill' which calls to criminalize hate crimes and labeling of persons as non-muslims. He also said PPM should have moderate religious views. However, the opposition has said no such coalitions can be formed with MDP.