Two pro-government lawmakers speak out against President

Combined file photos of (from L-R) Dhidhdhoo MP Abdul Latheef Mohamed and Dhangethi MP Ilhaam Ahmed.

Two lawmakers who campaigned to bring the current administration to power in 2018 have spoken out against President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

The 12 lawmakers who were disqualified for floor-crossing during former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s administration were some of the most powerful voices to campaign for an end to his administration and the election of the current administration.

Two of the 12 lawmakers – who were later reinstated – Dhidhdhoo MP Abdul Latheef Mohamed and Dhangethi MP Ilhaam Ahmed - openly criticized the current administration and directly – President Solih – during debated held at the Parliament last Wednesday.

Speaking during the debate on the legislature to grant additional privileges to judges, MP Abdul Latheef went off-topic to say that the current administration was running at “2T engine speed”, and that President Solih failed to deliver on his promise to the 12 lawmakers.

“I soundly, loudly, with a mighty voice, say this that the head of this government, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih failed to deliver on his promise,” said Abdul Latheef, speaking of the understanding between the coalition leaders to allow the 12 lawmakers to run for the parliamentary election without having to go through any primary.

Ilhaam expressed similar sentiments during the Parliament sitting on Wednesday.

He said that the current administration, in addition to failing to honor its agreement, also sidelined and forgot about the 12 lawmakers once it came to power.

‘Where are those political party leaders who used each praise the 12 lawmakers like nothing else. Then, it seemed like they were ready to pluck out the very moon from the sky out of love. My dear, they failed to provide them with even a seat,” said Ilhaam, who failed in his bid at securing the Ungoofaaru seat as a candidate of Jumhoory Party (JP) during the parliamentary election held on April 6.

Ilhaam said that the current administration had come to power through the countless effort of more than one party or politician, but that ruling party, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) had failed to acknowledge their contribution and left the people who contributed out in the cold.

“I had to spend my days in prison. Our families were with you, campaigning for you. They made our wives and children get interviewed calling for the end of President Yameen’s administration to bring to an end its cruelty towards Ilham and his family. The truth cannot be denied,” said Ilhaam, who spent eight months in prison and was released after Yameen’s administration was defeated in the presidential election.

“They used everyone. They used Qasim’s JP to come to power. This was the case even in 2008. But they soon forget their promises.”

Ilhaam said that the administration, which was elected to power to establish justice in Maldives, was instead engaged in acts of retribution. He said that all of the current administration’s legislatures were designed at seeking retribution.

“Today, the talk is fearful. Always something about establishing a commission. Something about arrests and illegal detentions. Isn’t the fight against the very same things what defeated President Yameen’s administration? The administration was overthrown, but the talk has started again,” said Ilhaam.

Ilhaam said that though MDP won 65 out of the 87 parliamentary seats in the elections, the general population of Maldives stood against the party.

The remarks by Abdul Latheef and Ilhaam marked the first time for lawmakers from the government coalition to speak so openly and plainly against the current administration or President Solih.

All 12 of the reinstated lawmakers had suffered defeat in their bid for re-election to the Parliament except for Vilingili MP Saud Hussain, who ran as an independent candidate.