No animosity towards anyone, claims Gasim

Leader of Jumhooree Party and Speaker of the Parliament, Gasim Ibrahim has stated on Wednesday that he has no enemies in the political arena.

Gasim made the statement amidst rumors that Jumhooree Party may join forces with former president Yameen Abdul Gayyoom to tackle the parliamentary polls. However, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has downplayed the rumors, expressing confidence that Gasim would remain a partner of the current ruling coalition.

Speaking to the media after concluding the JP council meeting on Wednesday, Gasim acknowledged that he is not against working with any political figures, be it former presidents Yameen or Mohamed Nasheed. He has no "enemies", claimed Gasim.

Gasim noted that JP was "forced to beg" due to decisions made by main ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), with whom the party has remained at loggerheads over contesting the upcoming parliamentary elections through the same coalition which saw them win the presidential elections in November last year. The party is ready to work with any group who is generous towards the party, said Gasim.

Main opposition party, Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) is prepared to hold talks with JP, revealed Gasim, although he did not disclose further details.

Making a decision that is beneficial to oneself is not something that needs to be criticized, also stated Gasim, defending the new members who recently joined the party.

"These things will happen, just like the rising and setting of the sun. This is not something that deserves criticism, every person will decide whats best for himself", said Gasim.

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.

In an agreement signed between the coalition partners ahead of the presidential election last years, it was decided that MDP will contest for 35 seats while Jumhooree 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, triggering dispute among the coalition.

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.

Therefore, JP has now decided to contest the primaries separate from MDP, and will be contesting for 61 constituencies.