MDP confirms ongoing discussions with Adhaalath

Main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) confirms ongoing discussions with coalition partner, religiously conservative Adhaalath Party, on how to best tackle the upcoming parliamentary elections as an alliance.

Speaking at their daily press conference, MDP Spokesperson for the parliamentary elections, Afshan Latheef on Sunday confirmed that discussion are ongoing with Adhaalath Party and a resolution will be reached soon.

Afshan praised Adhaalath Party stating that AP is a strategic political party that is easy to work with. The details of the agreement between Adhaalath and MDP will be revealed in the upcoming days, said Afshan.

Adhaalath Party had proposed to MDP to form an alliance for the parliamentary election.

MDP is contesting for 86 constituencies in the parliamentary elections while Adhaalath had previously decided to contest for 13 constituencies. Adhaalath Party was prepared to give up some of their target constituencies in return for MDP endorsement for Adhaalath contestants.

Although the National Congress of MDP had agreed to Adhaalath's terms, the MDP contestants for the specific constituencies had not agreed with the decision, thereby reverting to their original plan of contesting for all 86 constituencies. Although the decision was made, the discussions are still ongoing between MDP and Adhalath.

MDP has submitted candidacy papers for 86 contestants at the Elections Commission. Adhaalath will now be contesting for eight constituencies, and have handed over party tickets to its recipients. The deadline for submission of candidacy papers is this Thursday. The parliamentary election is scheduled to be held on 6th April.

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 Adaalath Party will contest for 22, 17 and 13 seats respectively.

However, main ruling 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.