MP asked to abandon move to ban ex-presidents from running for parliament

Ruling coalition partner, Jumhoory Party (JP) on Tuesday has asked one of its lawmakers to withdraw an amendment seeking to prevent former presidents from contesting for parliament.

Dhidhdhoo lawmaker Abdul Latheef Mohamed who recently joined Jumhoory Party (JP) had submitted an amendment to the parliamentary election law just a few months remaining for the parliamentary elections.

The amendment is believed to be largely designed to prevent former president Mohamed Nasheed from running for parliament in April.

JP parliamentary group leader Abdulla Riyaz on Twitter said Latheef had submitted the amendment without the consultation of the parliamentary group.

The Kinbindhoo lawmaker Riyaz said the amendment would constrict the rights of a fellow coalition party leader, referring to Nasheed.

"We've asked Latheef to withdraw the amendment immediately," Riyaz said.

The move by a JP lawmaker could further strain the fragile coalition which remains at loggerheads over contesting the elections through the alliance after Nasheed's Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) last month decided to contest for all parliamentary seats.

The coalition parties had previously agreed to contest both the parliamentary election and the local council elections through the coalition in order to ensure maximum number of seats.

According to the original agreement, main ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) will contest for 35 seats while Jumhoory Party, Maumoon Reform Movement and Adhaalath Party will contest for 22, 17 and 13 seats respectively.

However, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) decided at its National Council to contest for all 87 constituencies in the parliamentary election, despite the existing coalition agreement to divide up the seats among themselves.

The four leaders of the coalition have sat down several times with President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in attempt to resolve the dispute. However, an agreement has not been reached thus far.

The rest of the coalition partners have already opened submission of application for candidates interesting in the election on their respective party tickets.