Fisheries Minister Dr Mohamed Shainee, chairman of the all-party talks and the government’s chief negotiator, told the press on Thursday that invitations have been sent out and urged opposition parties to revive the failed talks.
The ruling party’s ethics committee has also expelled MP Mohamed Ameeth after he refused to vote against Speaker Abdulla Maseeh Mohamed’s no-confidence motion.
Ibrahim Falah, deputy leader of the PPM parliamentary group, told the press that Gayoom has only been able to remain in the post due to the “love and respect” President Abdulla Yameen bears for his half-brother.
Both President Abdulla Yameen and the new alliance formed between ruling party lawmakers loyal to former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and opposition parties are confident of victory in the upcoming no-confidence vote against the parliament’s speaker.
“President Yameen is convinced he can’t win a fair election and has delayed #LCE2017 for the 3rd time. A case of lies upon lies. Unacceptable,” tweeted former President Mohamed Nasheed, the opposition leader.
The opposition MDP officially launched its local council election campaign with simultaneous rallies in the north and south on Thursday night as the ruling party introduced its candidates for the Malé city council.
Opposition lawmakers have submitted a no-confidence motion to remove Speaker Abdulla Maseeh Mohamed, posing the first credible challenge to President Abdulla Yameen’s previously unassailable majority in parliament.
Ahmed Ashraf’s trial resumed on Wednesday after more than one year. The first hearing was held in February 2016. The charge of issuing threats carries a jail sentence of one year, but the teenage social media celebrity has spent a longer period in detention.
Majority Leader Ahmed Nihan contended that the changes are necessary to ensure public confidence in the military, insisting that the party is working “genuinely with honest intentions” for the good of the military.
Both the PPM and MDP have been gearing up for the campaign in recent days. The stakes in the Maldives’ third local council election are higher than the previous polls as it will put claims of overwhelming public support to the test.
MPs voted 46-19 to amend the 2010 local council elections law to allow individuals convicted of graft, bribery, drug abuse, and offences with punishments prescribed in Islamic shariah to contest three years after being pardoned or completing their jail sentence.
The elections commission has assured political parties that the postponed local council elections will be rescheduled for early April with a new date to be announced next week.
The elections commission has withdrawn its appeal of a civil court judgment that postponed next year’s local council elections by two months, drawing fierce criticism from political parties over the independence of the electoral body.
A contentious Airport Development Charge of US$12 for Maldivians and US$25 for foreigners departing from the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport was voted through by the ruling party-dominated parliament Thursday night.
The civil court has ordered the elections commission to indefinitely extend the re-registration period for January’s local council elections pending a judgment on the ruling party’s request to delay the polls by two months.
Gayoom spoke to newspaper Mihaaru about the acrimonious split within the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives and his decision to withdraw support for his half-brother President Abdulla Yameen’s embattled administration.
The commission has requested the finance ministry to distribute MVR23million (US$1.5million) among four of the six political parties