Talks between Qasim and Nasheed end unproductively, Qasim reveals insights

The negotiations between the Jumhooree Party and the main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)'s break-off party, The Democrats, have concluded without yielding any productive results. The outcome was revealed by JP leader and presidential candidate Qasim Ibrahim in an interview given to VTV, a television station owned by him.

During the interview, Qasim heavily criticized Nasheed and disclosed that Nasheed approached him after his humiliating defeat in MDP's presidential primary. Nasheed made efforts to persuade him that this was the opportune time for him to run for president. Qasim said Nasheed was the first person to broach the subject with him. Following that, members of MDP's then-anti-government faction, which has since evolved into The Democrats, met him on multiple occasions, urging him to contest this year's presidential election, he said.

"Even then, I made it clear that I do not have substantial financial resources at this time. The truth is, we have yet to fully recover from the immense losses we and the entire world suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic," Qasim said.

Qasim further said despite Nasheed urging him to run for president, he had always been well aware of Nasheed's true character and motivations. He described Nasheed as a man whose actions do not align with his words.

"President Nasheed would not like someone other than him to be in power. He cannot bear to give that opportunity to someone else," he said.

Qasim further disclosed that Nasheed had personally attended talks at Sun Island Resort twice while his team engaged in discussion with JP regarding the formation of a coalition. When Qasim requested Nasheed to further clarify his terms for a coalition, he received the information in a very detailed letter from Nasheed, said Qasim. The level of detail in the letter made it evident to Qasim that Nasheed saw him as a "stepping stone" to ultimately coming to power himself, said Qasim.

Qasim also revealed another reason why he did not wish to form a coalition with Nasheed. He expressed his reluctance to become a scapegoat, labeled as the person who destroyed MDP if he formed a coalition with Nasheed.

The JP leader indirectly said the talks with Nasheed came to an end as Nasheed was "too hungry for power."

"[I am] not a person who dances to the tune of others. I will not do that," he said.

Qasim also spoke about the ruling coalition's main party, the MDP. He said he was one of the first members to sign up for MDP and that the MDP was not formed by President Nasheed. He also said that when he was the Deputy Leader of former President Maumoon Abdul Qayyoom's then-party, the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), he financially supported the MDP in order to revive a politically competitive environment in the country.