Qasim: The coalition stands, will work together again after elections

Leader of Jumhoory Party (JP) and Speaker of Parliament, Qasim Ibrahim (R) gestures as he converses with President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (L). (File Photo/Sun/Fayaz Moosa)

The government coalition still stands and I am open to collaborating with other coalition partners after the upcoming parliamentary elections, says Leader of Jumhoory Party (JP) and Speaker of Parliament, Qasim Ibrahim.

The government coalition partners have gone their separate ways to contest for the parliamentary elections, creating conflict within the coalition.

JP, last Saturday night, announced the party’s decision to endorse 32 candidates from opposition parties - Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and People’s National Congress (PNC) – for the upcoming elections.

Speaking in answer to a question by ‘Sun’ during Saturday night’s press conference, Qasim Ibrahim said that the breach of a part of the coalition agreement did not mean the coalition agreement no longer stands. But that JP may need to “reconsider” their legislative work at the Parliament.

“Breach of a specific part of the coalition agreement does not mean the coalition is nullified. But we may have to reconsider our work inside the Parliament,” said Qasim, when asked about his level of confidence regarding the survival of the coalition.

Qasim said that though the coalition partners are not contesting the elections together as per the original understanding, JP will continue collaborating with the coalition again after the elections.

Leader of Jumhoory Party (JP) and Speaker of Parliament, Qasim Ibrahim speaks during the press conference by JP on March 9, 2019. (Sun Photo/Ahmed Awshan Ilyas)

“And after our candidates are elected to the Parliament, we will again work within the government coalition. In compliance with the Constitution and laws,” said Qasim.

He stressed that the victory in the presidential elections of 2018 was achieved though the collaborative effort of the coalition which made specific pledges to the people.

He said that the people elected the current administration based on the reassurance of the coalition over the implementation of the pledges.

While Qasim has announced his intention of maintaining the government coalition despite the current rivalry over the parliamentary elections, Interim Leader of PNC, Abdul Raheem Abdulla, announced the very same night that the government coalition no longer stands with the collaboration between JP, PPM and PNC for the elections.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, during the MDP campaign tour in Addu City last Saturday morning, called for unity within the coalition.

He acknowledged and praised the efforts of the coalition to bring him to power, something he vowed to never forget.

“And I reassure everyone from all these parties again today, none of you will have cause for regret from anything we are doing. Stand with us this time,” said Solih.

JP has endorsed 32 of PPM and PNC’s candidates for the elections, while PPM and PNC has endorsed 27 of JP’s candidates for the elections.