Govt. explains India relations as it seeks JP’s support

JP leader Qasim Ibrahim and President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih at Sun Island Resort. (Photo/JP)

The government has begun to explain its relations with neighbouring India to the Jumhoory party's leaders in order to win the support of JP in the second round of the upcoming presidential election.

Qasim Ibrahim, who received two percent of the vote in the first round, has not yet announced his support for any party in the second round. The PPM/PNC coalition as well as President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih have also applied for Qasim’s support. The President visited Qasim at Sun Island yesterday and is still at the resort.

A JP council member, speaking on condition of anonymity, said PPM, in the name of Dr Mohamed Muizzu, is proposing to form a coalition without any major conditions.

Instead, he said, President Solih is ready to discuss JP's proposals.

The official said the biggest dissatisfaction of the JP leadership with the government is the current relationship between India and Maldives. He said the party leaders are very concerned about the presence of Indian troops in Maldives.

“Government officials are talking to party [JP] members at the resort to clarify India's relationship. We were the ones who expressed the most concern about India,” he said.

During the campaign, Qasim also said that the government has allowed Indian troops to stay in Maldives. He said the government's illegal relations with India are harmful to the country.

The government's talks with India are believed to have played a major role in the poor results in the first round of the presidential election. The PPM/PNC coalition has been saying in many ways that Maldives has gone into slavery to India because of this government

The government denies all the allegations.

JP initially decided to hold a council meeting early yesterday to decide who they would support in the second round. However, the meeting has now been postponed and a date to hold the meeting has not been decided. 

MNP, which won 0.8 percent of the vote in the first round of the polls, has now formed a coalition with PPM/PNC for the second round of the elections which are to be held on September 30. Both candidates are in talks to form a coalition with other parties.

JP is still a member of the government coalition.