Maldives ruling party extends invite to JP leader amid MDP rift

Maldives ruling party has extended a invitation to opposition Jumhoory Party (JP) leader Gasim Ibrahim to work with the government ahead of the upcoming presidential elections.

The business tycoon's party had been integral to incumbent president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's election win in 2013. But soon after the coalition fell apart and the now former lawmaker has joined the opposition coalition following his jailing over bribery charges last year.

The business tycoon now lives in self imposed exile in Germany after he was convicted of bribery and sentenced to over three years in prison in August last year.

Gasim was granted medical leave to travel to Singapore where he had undergone a minor heart surgery in September before travelling to Germany.

However, the opposition coalition appears to have fractured after talks of nominating a single candidate for the elections stalled.

Self-exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed who is also part of the opposition alliance has already launched his own campaign for the elections much to the dismay of the JP leader.

Ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) deputy leader Abdulla Khaleel who had extended the invitation to Gasim on behalf of the party said that the business tycoon had been "double-crossed" by MDP.

"No matter how hard Gasim tries, MDP won't give any leeway to any other party. MDP has again double crossed him. So I urge Gasim to join president Yameen who is the only leader loyal to the country," the Nilandhoo lawmaker stressed.