Nasheed: President negligent in Maldives losing part of its territory

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (R) and Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed (L) at the official ceremony to mark the 74th Republic Day of India. (Photo/President's Office)

Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) leader, Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed, on Tuesday, remarked that President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih was negligent in Maldives losing a part of its maritime territory in the border dispute between Maldives and Mauritius.

Nasheed expressed anger at MDP’s disciplinary committee’s decision to expel Central Henveiru MP Ali Azim from the party, and ban him from rejoining the party for at least one year.

The move came after Azim and other MDP lawmakers belonging to Nasheed’s ‘Fikuregge Dhirun’ faction formed an alliance with the opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), Jumhoory Party (JP), and Maldives National Party (MNP), alleging the government failed to act in the best interests of the Maldivian people in the case lodged with the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) over the disputed maritime area between Maldives and Mauritius.

Nasheed on Twitter following the expulsion said Mauritius proposed to solve the border dispute via ad hoc arbitration on June 18, 2019.

Nasheed went on to say that the case was submitted ITLOS based on a decision made by the president which eventually led to Maldives losing a part of its maritime territory. He stressed that the parliament had not been informed when the ITLOS case was filed.

“No opinion from the parliament was sought on the matter. There is negligence on the president’s side,” he said.

Nasheed added that it is not Azim that needs to be expelled from the party.

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. 

The opposition alliance claims Maldives is entitled to the 95,563 square kilometers of maritime territory in dispute.