Talks still ongoing with JP: Democrats

The Democrats, a new political party being formed by Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed, has said its talks with Jumhooree Party (JP) regarding the upcoming presidential election are still ongoing.

The Democrats held their first official press conference earlier today. The party's Spokesperson, Afshan Latheef, said the talks with the JP, which commenced through the 'Fikuregge Dhirun' anti-government movement within the main-ruling MDP before the new party sought registration, have not stopped and that the two groups share close bonds. She also said that the Democrats receives advice from JP Leader Gasim Ibrahim.

“I don’t believe the talks have broken down yet,” Afshan said.

Afshan further said both the JP and the Democrats fielding presidential candidates for the September election would not hinder the talks between the two parties. She said discussions would also be held with the main opposition, the PPM-PNC coalition.

The Election Commission Sunday approved the process of collecting the 3,000 signatures needed to form the Democrats. The Democrats said last week that they would soon reach 3,000 members and seek a candidate for the upcoming presidential election.

It is speculated that the Democrats' presidential candidate would be Parliament Speaker and current MDP President, Nasheed. However, the party has said it does not revolve around a particular individual and that anyone who wishes to attain the party's presidential ticket will have the opportunity to contest the ticket.