Verbal altercations are taking place between senior members of coalition partner Jumhooree Party, with the party's decision to back some candidates of opposing Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) in the upcoming parliamentary election.
Tourism Minister Ali Waheed has been very vocal against the idea of voting for opposition candidates in the election while JP remains as a coalition partner. The situation escalated when Ali Waheed on Thursday night participated at the campaign event of an MDP contestant in Hulhumale, during which Ali Waheed openly criticized Gasim's decision to form an alliance with the opposition. He further said he does not wish to remain as a member of JP if his sincere efforts to bring about a coalition government is not accepted.
In response to Ali Waheed's public declaration, Gasim sent a lengthy response on the Whatsapp group of JP council members, urging all members to vote for party candidates. He then said one would need to resign from their government position before first resigning from the party, as the position was only secured due to the party. Although it is believed that Gasim was hinting at Ali Waheed, he did not mention Ali Waheed by name.
Gasim further said JP's decision to contest for more seats and back opposing candidates was prompted by main ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)s refusal to honor the agreement between the coalition partners. The party would have contested for 22 constituencies as previously agreed if not for MDP's betrayal said Gasim.
In retaliation to Gasim's factual response, Ali Waheed then said he supports the JP that 'stood up against injustice; and other candidates who are loyal to the nation.
"I will not support any tyrants who used to serve injustice", said Ali Waheed, noting that some council members of JP seems to have forgotten their place in the coalition.
Ali Waheed said he believes he has done enough work to deserve a position in the government, and said he has not forgotten the opportunities and the trust given to him by JP. The same way, he still remembers the injustices committed by the previous government, said Ali.
Several words of support for Ali Waheed's words by other council members then followed.
In addition to Ali Waheed, JP member vice president Faisal Naseem also took part in a campaign event of MDP. Gasim's spouse, Transport Minister Aishath Nahula has also revealed that she is against her husband's decision to work with the opposition.