Nasheed, PPM to spearhead an opposition alliance over Chagos dispute

Political parties hold discussions regarding spearheading an opposition alliance on Chagos dispute on May 9, 2023. (Photo/PPM)

MDP’s Fikuregge Dhirun and opposition PPM-PNC coalition, on Tuesday night, held discussions regarding spearheading an opposition alliance in connection to how the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea’s (ITLOS) ruling on the border dispute between Maldives and Mauritius delimited the disputed territory.

Opposition coalition’s leader, former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom, presently serving an 11-year prison sentence after being found guilty of money laundering and bribery, has instructed the opposition coalition’s leadership to work alongside all parties possible regarding the ITLOS’ ruling.

The coalition, following these instructions, has held discussions with political figures with opposing views including MNP, MDP leader, Parliament Speaker Nasheed’s Fikuregge Dhirun faction, and representatives of former Home Minister Umar Naseer.

The following individuals were present for Tuesday night’s discussions:

  •         Acting leader of opposition coalition Abdul Raheem Abdulla (Adhurey)
  •         PPM’s Deputy Leader, Naifaru MP Ahmed Shiyam
  •         Mahibadhoo MP Ahmed Thoriq (Tom) from PPM
  •         Central Henveiru MP Ali Azim from MDP’s Fikuregge Dhirun faction
  •         MNP’s Deputy Leader, Vilimale’ MP Ahmed Usham
  •         Former State Minister for Home Affairs Ahmed Saleem (Maaz Saleem)
  •         Kendhoo MP Ali Hussain (not on behalf of his party, JP)
Political parties hold discussions regarding spearheading an opposition alliance on Chagos dispute on May 9, 2023. (Photo/PPM)

Briefing Sun regarding Tuesday night’s discussions – Adhurey detailed those who were in attendance at the meeting as members of a committee formed by political parties that have agreed to work together with respect to the Chagos dispute for the purpose of discussions.

“An alliance has almost been formed now. Decisions will be made on how to proceed forward by the weekend,” he added.

However, Adhurey noted no definite decision on how to proceed in the case has been made so far. He said political parties are holding discussions regarding Chagos dispute to identify how to proceed together.

Nasheed has been criticizing the government in connection to Chagos dispute. He has previously remarked that Maldives, at a time, had exercised sovereignty over the archipelago.

Nasheed, who has turned on the government, had initiated a separate political movement within MDP. He held discussions with the opposition PPM-PNC coalition on Monday as well.

ITLOS, on April 28th, concluded that the conflicting Exclusive Economic Zone (EEC) between Mauritius and Maldives will be divided between the two using the equidistance formula as argued by Maldives in the case.

Thus, Maldives gains 47,232 square kilometers from the 95,563 square kilometers of maritime territory in dispute while Mauritius gains 45,331 square kilometers. 

Opposition parties claim Maldives is entitled to the 95,563 square kilometers of maritime territory in dispute.