Nasheed denies Gayoom rift, insists in 'frequent' touch

Self exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed on Tuesday denied reports of a rift between his predecessor former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, insisting that he was in "frequent communication" with his once arch nemesis.

The main opposition leaders including Gayoom and Nasheed along with Jumhoory Party (JP) leader Gasim Ibrahim and religiously conservative Adhaalath Party (AP) leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla inked an 'unholy' pact to form what they called a 'reform alliance'.

However, with the quartet ruled out either due to the presidency age cap or a criminal sentence, cracks have begun to appear in the unlikely alliance over talks of nominating a single candidate to challenge incumbent president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's re-election hopes later this year.

Despite nominating representatives for the crunch discussions, Gayoom has thus far distanced himself from the idea of a single candidate.

Local online newspaper 'Maldives Independent' on Wednesday quoted a highly placed source in the Gayoom camp saying that Gayoom and Nasheed have not spoken to each other since the pact was signed in March last year.

“They have not had any phone calls. Some senior politicians on both sides have tried to arrange meetings where both leaders can sit down and talk. So far this has not happened,” a senior official who has worked closely with Gayoom was quoted by the newspaper.

Nasheed who now lives in self imposed exile in the UK after he was allowed to leave to Britain on medical leave in an internationally brokered deal, responded to the article on Twitter insisting that he "enjoys frequent communication" with Gayoom.

"Moreover, I appreciate his views and advice," Nasheed stressed.