Dunya Maumoon’s resignation as Foreign Minister came as a wave to the present administration. The individual who had shielded the Government from every blow had resigned amid the deepening crisis between her father former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and incumbent President and half-uncle Abdullah Yameen Abdul Gayoom.
Before the praise for her decision grew stale, she joined the present administration as a State Minister. A demotion of sorts. Nevertheless, a decision that was taken to serve the nation.
At the time of her shifting allegiances, father Maumoon, brother Dhiggaru Constituency MP Ahmed Faris Maumoon and sister Yumna Maumoon were firmly entrenched against the present administration. Their battle tactics only served to deepen the crisis between the Government and their party Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM). Faris was jailed soon after. President Maumoon and brother-in-law Mohamed Nadheem followed suit.
The ‘Maldives Crisis’ that impacted the nation and the former First Family proved to be the biggest challenge for Dunya. All called for her resignation. Leave the Government. Join the opposition, like her family. Dunya’s response was simple; ‘peace, not war’. She repeatedly called for a resolution through dialogue. Repeatedly called for all to leave aside personal agendas, anger.
This lent fuel to rumors that she straddled both sides on the political spectrum. At one time she defended her uncle’s stance on declaring the state of emergency. The other time she was vocally against it, calling on the Government to release those arrested during this time. In the end, she had defined those arrested as political detainees.
These mixed messages only served to stoke public confusion and anger towards Dunya. Rumors that she straddled both ends of the political spectrum only increased. Even from within the ruling Party. PPM’s Deputy Leader Fonadoo Constituency MP Abdul Raheem Abdullah had called on Dunya to pick a stance and stick to it.
Fisheries Minister Dr. Mohamed Shainee also aimed similar criticisms.
In spite of this, Dunya had stuck to her original motto of ‘peace, not war’. Strong as the conviction was, it had failed to quell the political fire that had sparked.
Undoubtedly, Dunya’s resignation was the most anticipated move of the ‘Maldives Crisis’. Without firing any other charges in the battle of the Gayooms, Dunya tendered in her resignation. To say that emotions surged, was an underestimation. Yumna quote tweeted her sibling’s resignation letter with a simple but meaningful heart. Opposition opened their doors to her.
Jumhooree Party Deputy Leader Abdullah Riyaz had even welcomed her to be part of the Party. Recent entrant to the Party, former Home Minister defined her action as a brave one. The very Members of Parliament who were criticizing her, called on to join the opposition led rallies.
The ever-so ‘diplomatic’ Dunya once again went against the grain. Though she had resigned, Dunya made it blatantly clear she did not wish to join any political side. She made it known that she wished to remain impartial, an independent and as a Maldivian citizen. Citing that President Yameen was her uncle and therefore her blood, she refused to demarcate her family as divided; at least in her views.
To say that her decision was another damper on the increasingly divided political sphere is an underestimation. Social media, especially twitter, buzzed with feedback. Some claimed her national reconciliation dialogue would fail. This became more pronounced when her father said there was nothing more that could or would be discussed with the Government. That the situation was beyond remedy.
Dunya is still geared to dialogue for national reconciliation. She intends to act as mediator for talks between the Government and the opposition. The question being posed is whether if she would be able to reach this extremely lofty goal?
On the other hand, those who believe in her works towards a peaceful solution thinks that her resignation and current actions could be a game changer. Many believe that the political crisis would see Dunya being a “peace maker”, as she reiterates her position as an independent who is ready to initiate in negotiations, regardless of the strong criticism she currently faces.
However, the current situation on ground is one that stalls bringing the opposition and the government to one table. And that’s where the real work begins. Only time could tell whether she could successfully mediate talks between all concerned parties, and how much of a contribution she could make. As for her critics, all they can do for now is wait and see how it unfolds.