Democrats: Economic empowerment of the people ‘top priority’

West Henveiru MP Hassan Latheef speaks to press outside the Elections Commission on May 21, 2023. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Shathiu Abdulla)

The Democrats, a new political party spearheaded by Speaker Mohamed Nasheed, states that strengthening the democracy and economically empowering the people is the party’s top priority.

Speaking to press after applying for approval from the Elections Commission to form the party Sunday, Democrats’ spokesperson and former chief operating officer of Local Government Authority (LGA) Afshan Latheef said the party will ensure the establishment of a system where people are economically empowered and the party run in a decentralized manner.

She also vowed the party’s values be ones the people can stand by.

Afshan said the party’s top values will be to optimize public engagement and ensure they are fully empowered.

“We will engage, we will make them engage, and we will secure the engagement of others. This is why opened proposals for a name [for the party]. Not just to those who want to be involved in this party, but to all,” she said.

The Democrats' spokesperson Afshan Latheef speaks to press outside the Elections Commission on May 21, 2023. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Shathiu Abdulla)

Afshan said they received 230 different proposed names for the party, 53 percent of which had the word “democracy” in it.

This shows just how much the people want this party to strengthen the democracy in this country, she said.

Speaking to press, West Henveiru MP Hassan Latheef said that the party is ready for the next legal steps required to form it, as soon as they receive approval from EC.

When questioned by reporters regarding why Nasheed remains with the main ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), Hassan Latheef responded that “everything is being done according to the law.”

“According to the law, a member of a political party cannot form a new party. As to when President Nasheed will join this party and how, that is a question you need to ask him directly,” he said.

'The Democrats'; a new political party spearheaded by Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed submits form to EC seeking approval to form the party on May 21, 2023. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Shaathiu Abdulla)

“As we work on forming this party… We wouldn’t be forming a political party out of his sight or without his knowledge.”

Hassan Latheef said The Democrats will stand against corruption, and will work with full transparency and in accordance with the principles of democracy.

He said that there are scores of MDP members ready to join The Democrats, and that several MPs will join the party soon.

The Democrats said they plan on running in the presidential election scheduled for September 9.