'JP remains a part of the ruling coalition' - Gasim

Leader of Jumhooree Party (JP) Gasim Ibrahim has assured that his party still remains a part of the ruling coalition.

Speaking at a ceremony held on Monday night to welcome new members who joined the party from the opposition, Gasim said the party would remain a part of the ruling coalition as long as they are not expelled from the coalition, and will work towards maintaining President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's administration.

Gasim added that the purpose of opposition members joining the party is expanding the party further, Gasim said the party's sights are set on the upcoming local council elections and the next presidential election.

"I hope it is understood that we are not attempting to leave the coalition. That is not the case. If the current administration continues to follow and respect the Maldivian constitution and the religion of Islam, we are happy to move forward with President Solih", said Gasim.

"What we are doing now is expanding our party and preparing for upcoming elections", he added.

Gasim said he carries no hatred towards anyone, and assure that he was not one to hold grudges over words said by politicians while speaking at podiums. He added that he has forgiven anyone who has spoken ill of him on such platforms.

Several key members of the opposition joined Jumhooree Party during last night's ceremony, including former Vice President of Maldives Abdulla Jihad, former Home Minister Azleen Ahmed, former MPs Ahmed Nihan Hussain Manik.