Pres Solih backs Nasheed on parliament election dispute

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has stated that it is imperative for main-ruling party, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) to secure parliament majority in the upcoming elections in order to fulfill government pledges.

Speaking at the ceremony held by the party to conclude their primary elections on Friday night, President Solih said that the success of the current government in the 2018 presidential election is largely owed to MDP and the efforts undertaken by its members. A new government was elected with a lot of hopes and dreams, therefore, it is necessary to achieve parliament majority in order to ensure that the visions of the government for the country are fulfilled, said the President.

The President commended the exemplary acts of democracy displayed by MDP during their primaries, noting that it attests to the growth of democracy in the Maldives over the past few years. He thanked the contestants and organizers of the primary in his speech.

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, 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.

In a new development, coalition partner Jumhoory Party (JP) leader Gasim Ibrahim on Friday threatened to sever ties with main ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) saying his party was ready to negotiate with other political parties to form a new coalition, while MDP of "kicking-out" his party "again" after winning the presidential elections.

The two parties have remained at loggerheads over contesting the upcoming parliamentary elections through the same coalition which saw them win the presidential elections in November last year.

However, MDP led by former president Mohamed Nasheed has continued to deny the existence of such an agreement with the main ruling party moving ahead with plans to secure parliament majority.