Partnering with MDP ‘not an option’ for Democrats

The Democrats' interim council convenes for a meeting on September 12, 2023. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Yameen)

Many of the members who took part in the Democrats’ interim council meeting on Tuesday agreed that partnering with the ruling MDP for the presidential election runoff later this month is “not an option.”

The Democrats – composed of a breakaway faction of the MDP -had placed third in the first round of voting with 7 percent of votes. The opposition PPM-PNC candidate, Dr. Mohamed Muizzu placed first with 46 percent, while MDP’s Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, the incumbent president, placed second with 39 percent.

In a council meeting at The House of Democrats on Tuesday, the party’s interim chairperson, West Henveiru Hassan Latheef said that the party has not initiated negotiations with any political party, and that any negotiation will be conducted under the council’s advisement.

“We have not held any official negotiations with anyone,” he said.

Hassan said the party has, however, been holding unofficial talks with members of some parties.

He said that the Democrats have not engaged in official negotiations with any party regarding a coalition deal.

Hulhudhoo MP Ilyas Labeeb, the party’s presidential candidate, said a coalition deal with any party is a big decision. He said such a decision must be made after thorough thought on the party’s future.

“We must consider what is best for this country. [I propose] selecting a committee to engage in negotiations,” he said.

The Democrats' interim council convenes for a meeting on September 12, 2023. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Yameen)

Vilufushi MP Hassan Afeef suggested selecting a six-member committee.

Male’ City councilor Mohamed Saif Fathih seconded the proposal, but said that re-joining MDP wasn’t an option.

“I have no doubt that if we support Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, he will buyout the Parliament,” he said.

Ungoofaaru MP Mohamed Waheed (Wadde) said the Democrats do not need to negotiate for a share of the government or various posts. He said that the party has found “a way other than Ibu”, and that the Democrats should instead negotiate with parties to enforce their manifesto.

“We certainly cannot support Ibrahim Mohamed Solih,” he said.

Hassan Latheef said that though a committee will be selected to engage in negotiations, major decisions will not be made without the council’s counsel.

He said that all decisions must go through the council.

“We will not make any decision without bringing it before this council,” he said.

Democrats’ council members criticized the current administration. Many believe they have two options; partnering with the PPM-PNC, or not joining a coalition at all.