The leader of the ruling coalition partner Jumhooree Party (JP) and its presidential candidate, Qasim Ibrahim, has strongly criticized President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and former JP Secretary General Ahmed Sameer.
Speaking at a JP council meeting held at Qasim's Paradise Resort on Saturday, Qasim expressed his displeasure with President Solih, stating that the president was making "mistakes on top of mistakes." He firmly said it was time for President Solih to "go home."
Qasim’s dissatisfaction stemmed from the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC)'s decision to halt the sale of the Vaaveddhi Lagoon owned by his company, Villa Group, as well as the ongoing deadlock in Parliament. He said President Solih's government and the main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) were to be blamed for both issues and said there was no point in President Solih seeking re-election.
Furthermore, Qasim directed his dissatisfaction toward Minister Sameer, accusing him of influencing JP members to join the MDP. Sameer, who had resigned from JP earlier in March, last Thursday joined the MDP along with several other JP members. Sameer had cited JP's decision to contest the upcoming presidential election separately as his reason for leaving JP, claiming it was not in the best interest of the country at this time.
Criticizing Sameer, Qasim said Sameer led JP members to the MDP on the pretext of giving them positions in the government. Qasim expressed his disappointment, emphasizing that Sameer and anyone else involved should possess at least a shred of shame.
"Even if it's Sameer or someone else, he should have some shame," he said.
Several senior JP members left the party following the JP's decision to turn down President Solih's invitation to form an alliance for the election and instead decided to lead its own coalition. However, Qasim's wife and Transport Minister Aisha Nahla, and Fisheries Minister Dr. Hussain Rasheed still remain JP members.