Shiyam: PPM doesn’t have any deal to make with MDP

Naifaru MP Ahmed Shiyam (L) and Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed (R) at the ceremony held to announce the Local Council Elections on February 4, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) deputy leader, Naifaru MP Ahmed Shiyam says his party has no deal to make with ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), citing fundamental differences in principles, which he said PPM is unwilling to compromise.

In an appearance on SanguTV on Wednesday night, Shiyam said neither PPM, nor its leader, former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has any deal to make with MDP, and that MDP’s leader, former President Mohamed Nasheed isn’t someone who can work with PPM’s agenda.

“We, PPM, will take part in all discourse to change this country’s situation. The reality is, President Nasheed isn’t someone we can set out agenda to. PPM’s agenda cannot be set to President Nasheed,” he said.

Shiyam said that PPM and MDP’s policies are “as different as sky and ground”, and that Maldives suffers numerous damages in MDP administrations.

“We see that anytime MDP comes to power, they make decisions that could cost us our independence. They make decisions that could erase the religion of Islam we practice here in Maldives. But these are fundamental principles we will continue to maintain. These are principles that cannot be shaken,” he said.

Shiyam said that he wants to remind MDP that PPM is steered by Yameen.

Shiyam previously said that there’s always room for talks, but that engaging in talks would require the MDP administration to overturn the conviction against Yameen, which the opposition alleges to be politically motivated.

Talk of a potential deal between Nasheed and Yameen was sparked by comments Nasheed made in an episode of Ask Speaker earlier this week.

Nasheed called for a constitutional referendum to decide on a parliamentary system of government next year, and said that as Yameen himself supports a parliamentary system, he is confident Yameen and PPM will work alongside MDP to campaign for the switch.

Opposition politicians were quick to hit back at Nasheed over the comments. Leader of opposition coalition partner People’s National Congress (PNC), Abdul Raheem Abdulla said that Yameen supports the decision of the people to settle on a presidential system back in the 2007 constitutional referendum.