MDP: Expecting to reach an agreement with AP soon

File photo of (from L-R) Leader of AP and Minister of Home Affairs, Sheikh Imran Abdulla and Leader of MDP and former Maldivian President, Mohamed Nasheed. (File Photo/Sun)

Main ruling party, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) reports it expects to reach an agreement with Adhaalath Party (AP) to work together for the upcoming parliamentary elections soon.

Speaking during a press conference this Sunday morning, Deputy Secretary–General of MDP and MDP’s Spokesperson for the Parliamentary Election Campaign, Afshan Latheef said the party found it easy to work with AP.

“Working together and negotiating with Adhaalath Party is very easy for MDP. The work of Adhaalath Party is well-planned, efficient, and structured,” said Afshan.

He said the MDP expected to reach an agreement with AP soon, and announced the details of the agreement will be disclosed at a later date.

The government coalition; MDP, AP, Jumhoory Party (JP) and former Maldivian President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom originally had an understanding to work together for the parliamentary elections. MDP later announced the intention of contesting for 86 parliamentary seats, following which the coalition partners made the decision to approach the elections individually.

MDP and AP later initiated negotiations, during which AP requested MDP to withdraw its candidates contesting for from a handful of seats and endorse AP’s candidates for the seats.

The proposal failed to gain approval from within MDP, and all 86 MDP candidates have now submitted their candidacy applications.

Meanwhile, AP, which initially announced the intention of honoring the original coalition understanding and contesting for only 13 seats, dropped out of contention for five of the seats following negotiations with MDP, and issued tickets to only eight candidates.

Leader of AP and Minister of Home Affairs, Sheikh Imran Abdulla said surrendering the five seats had been necessary to secure a government majority at the Parliament.

He said the AP was willing to make whatever sacrifice necessary in order to maintain the current government.

While MDP and AP have reinforced their alliance, a rift has formed between MDP and JP.

During a JP gathering last Saturday night, Leader of JP and Speaker of Parliament, Qasim Ibrahim said “allowing MDP a majority in the Parliament should not happen at any cost.”

The rumor mill is spinning with reports JP is engaged in negotiations with former ruling party Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and People’s National Congress (PNC) – something which JP has denied.

Despite JP’s continued denial, PNC’s interim executive committee member Mohamed Hussain Shareef (Mundhu) has confirmed PPM and PNC are engaged in negotiations with a third party – as part of which it has decided to withdraw from contesting for an unspecified number of parliamentary seats.

Mundhu’s statement comes after PPM’s decision to drop out of contention for several districts and pledge of support to JP’s candidates for the districts. JP, too, has dropped out of contention for several districts.